Organic Valley has launched a new outreach strategy to better highlight the farmers behind America’s food. The strategy includes a new mobile-friendly website as well as actual tours on participating farms.
This new strategy will above all allow consumers transparency and assurance of authenticity when shopping, something that Sarah Z. Masoni, product and process development manager at the Food Innovation Center at Oregon State University, says is “the biggest key for consumers,” reports the New York Times. “They want to know who’s creating their food. Consumers want to trust the suppliers of their food.”
Organic Valley has offered free tours on its farms since 2014; this year, it is offering four across the country over the course of the summer and early fall, in addition to virtual farm tours on its website that allow visitors to explore these from afar.
These initiatives, as well as increased social media use, are targeting millennials, a group Organic Valley claims make up much of the organic food purchases in the nation. Consultancy BFG found that an overwhelming 70 percent of millennials purchased organic food.
Organic food sales currently make up about 5 percent of the food sold in the United States.
Organic Valley’s new website, which was launched in April, is more mobile-friendly than the cooperative's previous site and takes special care to highlight the stories of individual farmers. The site also includes a tool that helps consumers identify local stores that carry Organic Valley dairy products and new photos by Jody Horton, a James Beard Award-winning photographer. Stories and photos of individual farmers are displayed prominently on both the home page and while navigating the site.
The Organic Valley cooperative was originally founded by seven dairy farmers in 1988 in La Farge, Wisconsin. The cooperative now has more than 1,800 member farmers, of which 1,456 are dairy farmers. Organic Valley became the world's first billion dollar organic food company in January.
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Dairy farm image via Shutterstock