Fire and smoke caused extensive damage to the headquarters of Organic Valley Cooperative in La Farge, Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon. CEO George Siemon says no one was injured but two-thirds of the building has been damaged. He told reporters the fire started small but quickly spread through the walls. About 400 people work at the building, a portion of which was built in 2004 with additions in later years.
Cooperative Region Organic Producers Pool (CROPP) markets products under the Organic Valley name and is the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the country with more than 1,800 members across the U.S. and Canada.
Organic Valley issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:
The Board and staff of CROPP Cooperative would like to thank all of the communities, volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel for their heroic effort responding to our La Farge headquarters fire yesterday.
It was a very sad day as we watched our headquarters burn. While our material losses are painful, we are so very grateful that no one was harmed. We are now executing our contingency plans and our Cashton distribution center and other facilities are fully operational. We anticipate an expedient recovery and remain committed to our La Farge roots. We have received many heartfelt messages from the community–this gives us inspiration and strength, thank you.
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