When Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy this month, questions surfaced regarding the status of partnerships with the company and the health of the dairy industry. 

However, Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based organic cooperative, says it’s Organic Valley Fresh LLC joint venture, which represents a small fraction of its milk processing and distribution, falls outside of the Dean Foods filing. 

The cooperative says its members are “disheartened by Dean Foods’ bankruptcy as it represents the many challenges dairy farmers face in getting their products to market.” 

Organic Valley officials say the cooperative remains strong and innovations have bolstered the business overall. 

Dean Foods this month announced the chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, adding the company was in advanced talks with Dairy Farmers of America regarding a potential sale. 

The National Milk Producers Federation says Dean’s bankruptcy is creating uncertainty for some producers, but “seen from another angle, it’s just another disruption this sector will be able to withstand,” due to the strength of cooperatives and their dairy farmer-owners.