Swiss Valley Farms is an American cooperative composed of a thousand dairy farmers. Although the cooperative primarily produces dairy products, it is also engaged in the production of non-dairy beverages.
The foundation of Swiss Valley Farms was laid in 1958 when cooperatives Quality Milk and Iowa Illinois merged to form one big cooperative which was named the Mississippi Valley Milk Producers Association. The co-op’s headquarters was located at Davenport, Iowa.
MVMPA bought Buckhorn Creamery in the year 1962 and for a number of years, the facility served as the cooperative’s butter-printing site. Later, the facility underwent remodeling in order to process milk protein, non-fat milk and whey drying. In 1967, the cooperative acquired the Luana Cheese Manufacturing Facility, which later on became one of its flagship cheese facilities. In 1971, this cheese plant was renovated to accommodate production of special cheeses which includes Emmenthaler Swiss cheese. In 1976, the cooperative bought Hilldale Dairy.
In 1977, the cooperative adopted the brand name Swiss Valley Farms, to be printed on the packaging of its products. Four years later, the cooperative changed its name to the name of their own brand. A year after, Swiss Valley Farms started to bottle milk in a dairy. The place for the facility was bought from Land O’Lakes. SVF merged all activities related to bottling and started the consolidated activities in 1967 at Dubuque, Iowa. In the same year, the cooperative also started to produce dairy products related to culture like sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurts and dips.
In 2001, SVF installed a state-of-the-art Swiss cheese maker. This equipment was responsible for the cooperative’s award-winning Swiss cheese.
SVF encountered a huge blow when ‘Iowa’s Katrina’ floods caused considerable damage to the cooperative’s Cedar Rapids plant. Eventually, the facility was closed in 2008 because of so much damage. A year after, SVF sold its bottling plant in Dubuque to another dairy cooperative, Prairie Farms.
In August of 2010, SVF was able to acquire Faribault Dairy. Included in this acquisition is Fauribault’s manufacturing facility for Blu cheese, as well as other varieties of specialty cheeses. In the same year, SVF went into a partnership with Emmi-Roth Kase in order to produce cheese in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. Currently, Swiss Valley Farms still is a leader in the markets of the regional Midwest area.
Headquarters: Davenport, Iowa
Ownership Type: Private (Cooperative)
No. of Employees: over 360 (2010)
Demography: commercial dairy product consumers, retail food outlets, foodservice operators, school meal programs
Swiss Valley Farms