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Dean Foods and CROPP Cooperative Form Joint Venture to Grow the Organic Valley® Milk Brand

Strategic Agreement Brings Expanded Processing and Distribution to CROPP's Organic Valley Brand while Strengthening Dean Foods' Branded Dairy Portfolio

DALLAS, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) and CROPP, an independent farmer cooperative, are partnering in a strategic joint venture to bring organic milk to retailers through Dean Foods' processing plants and refrigerated direct store delivery (DSD) distribution system.

The 50/50 joint venture will serve as a strategic growth platform for both companies. Dean Foods will provide processing services and distribution through its extensive refrigerated distribution network. Organic Valley will provide a select portfolio of recognized brands and products, marketing expertise, and access to an organic milk supply from America's largest cooperative of organic dairy farmers. Both Dean Foods and Organic Valley will leverage their sales expertise to drive distribution; Dean Foods brings extensive experience in channels such as large format, dollar store and C-store while Organic Valley brings expertise in the natural channel, emerging markets and specialty distributors.

"Adding Organic Valley® to the current lineup of Dean Foods branded dairy products enables Dean Foods to offer retail customers the largest and most comprehensive dairy offering across multiple segments with national brands that consumers know and trust. It also allows us to further leverage our manufacturing and distribution network," said Gregg Tanner, CEO of Dean Foods. "We believe the dynamic and growing Organic Valley brand of organic milk is the perfect complement to our own category-leading DairyPure® and TruMoo® brands and gives Dean Foods a strong position in the organic dairy segment."

"This partnership reinforces Organic Valley's mission to support more organic farmers and grow our business," said George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley. "Consumers will enjoy the same Organic Valley quality they've come to know and trust: the same farmers will supply the same organic milk. But now more Organic Valley organic milk will be on more grocery shelves across the country."

The joint venture expects to begin processing and shipping Organic Valley products in mid-to-late 2017.

About Dean Foods

Dean Foods® is a leading food and beverage company and the largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fluid milk and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the Dean Foods portfolio includes DairyPure®, the country's first and largest fresh, white milk national brand, and TruMoo®, the leading national flavored milk brand, along with well-known regional dairy brands such as Alta Dena®, Berkeley Farms®, Country Fresh®, Dean's®, Friendly's®, Garelick Farms®, LAND O LAKES® milk and cultured products*, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms®, Mayfield®, McArthur®, Meadow Gold®, Oak Farms®, PET®**, T.G. Lee®, Tuscan® and more. In all, Dean Foods has more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels. Dean Foods also makes and distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, Caribou Coffee®*** ready-to-drink coffee beverages and bottled water. Almost 17,000 employees across the country work every day to make Dean Foods the most admired and trusted provider of wholesome, great-tasting dairy products at every occasion. For more information about Dean Foods and its brands, visit www.deanfoods.com.

*The LAND O LAKES brand is owned by Land O'Lakes, Inc. and is used by license. 

**PET is a trademark of Eagle Family Foods Group LLC, used under license. 

***Caribou Coffee is a trademark of the Caribou Coffee Company and is used by license.

About Organic Valley
Organic Valley is America's largest independent cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents more than 1,850 farmers in 36 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom and achieved $1.04 billion in 2015 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a wide range of organic dairy, soy, egg and produce products. With its regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support our local economies. For further information visit www.organicvalley.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter (@OrganicValley) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/OrganicValley).

Contact Dean Foods: Corporate Communications, Jamaison Schuler, +1-214-721-7766; or Investor Relations, Sherri Baker, +1-214-303-3438

Contact CROPP/Organic Valley: Media Relations, Hans Eisenbeis, +1-608-625-3802

 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dean-foods-and-cropp-cooperative-form-joint-venture-to-grow-the-organic-valley-milk-brand-300363544.html

SOURCE Dean Foods Company