La Farge, Wisconsin
Profile: Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative with a large portfolio of organic dairy and meat products including milk, cheese, butter, eggs, chicken and pork. Founded in 1988, the cooperative is made up of 1,834 farming families that produce high quality products that benefit consumers in every corner of the world.
Exports: Organic Valley has been exporting since 1994 and sells its products in 23 countries, including Korea. For more than 10 years, Organic Valley has been exporting to Korea with success in retail and ingredient products. In the last three years, the cooperative has put more emphasis on expanding global sales.
Growth: Organic Valley’s exports have grown exponentially over the past few years, and the cooperative believes this growth is just the tip of the iceberg. The growth in Korea’s organic sector and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), which makes exporting easier and less expensive, has encouraged Organic Valley to introduce more products in Korea. Even now, relatively early into the KORUS FTA implementation and its tariff/quota reduction process, exports of consumer-oriented agricultural products have reached record highs for Organic Valley.
Marketing in Korea: Familiar with Korea’s high standards for quality, Organic Valley strives to be the best in the business by going above and beyond current certification requirements. Each of its products goes through 57 quality checks before reaching the consumer. Organic Valley has worked with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to attend educational seminars and initiate customized market research studies to refine the cooperative’s messages and understand market needs and opportunities. Organic Valley has also traveled with DATCP on several trade missions to Korea.
Advice: Organic Valley sees exporting as a great way for companies to grow their business and increase their market share. However, they also recognize the tremendous learning curve entering a new market presents. The cooperative encourages companies to understand the difference between individual markets and different customer needs. When exporting, companies need to understand the legal aspects and documentation requirement, but just as important, companies must create a process that fits both them and the customer.
“The KORUS FTA is making exporting easier and less expensive. Even now, at the very beginning of the tariff/quota reduction process, exports of consumer-oriented agricultural products have reached record highs.”
— Pete Bassett, Global Sales and Business Development Manager, Organic Valley
Select your state below for information on local resources that can help you take advantage of opportunities from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. These resources include groups in both the public and private sector.
Semiconductors and components, Aerospace products, Chemicals
Communications equipment, Motor vehicles, Motor vehicle parts
In 2015, Korea was the United States’ 6th largest trading partner, while the United States was Korea’s 2nd largest.