Fast Company announced its annual World Changing Ideas Awards for 2023, recognizing trailblazing initiatives around the globe. Among the 2,200 entries, Organic Valley’s groundbreaking carbon insetting program secured a place as a finalist and received two honorable mentions.
Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, detailed this innovative program and other initiatives in its 2023 Impact Report, released today, May 2, 2023. The report highlights the cooperative’s efforts to mitigate carbon emissions, support small organic family farms, and foster a fairer food system.
The cooperative’s carbon insetting program significantly contributes to minimizing its carbon footprint. Over the next five years, Organic Valley plans to collaborate with approximately 500 farmer-members to implement over 1,200 climate-smart farming practices.
In addition to carbon reduction efforts, the report underscores Organic Valley’s commitment to animal welfare. For example, the cooperative highlighted its implementation of pasture and outdoor access standards, preventative care, and treatment as part of its animal care practices. In 2022, Organic Valley engaged with over 4,000 farms and conducted over 2,500 farm visits to ensure adherence to these standards.
Organic Valley’s dedication to small-scale farming is evident, with their family farms averaging 80 dairy cows – a figure 3.5 times smaller than the industry average. In addition, the cooperative prioritizes Annual Animal Care Check-ins and conducts comprehensive audits every three years to ensure the well-being of the animals under their care.
In the 2023 Impact Report, the company’s remarkable environmental impact is revealed through astonishing statistics. Farmers associated with Organic Valley have successfully prevented over 540 million pounds of chemicals from contaminating land, waterways, and food since 1988. To put it in perspective, this is equivalent to the weight of 360,000 adult blue whales.
Over the past seven years, the cooperative has gifted over 19 million pounds of food and collaborated with various organizations and nonprofits to help local communities nationwide.
According to Jeff Frank, the CEO of Organic Valley, the story of this cooperative owned by farmers is now being told more comprehensively, highlighting their farms’ positive impact on the environment, animal welfare, and their efforts towards carbon and climate action.
Organic Valley’s 2023 Impact Report is a powerful testament to the cooperative’s unwavering commitment to sustainable agriculture and organic farming practices, setting a standard for other organizations.