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Dean Foods ( ) is an Americanmarker food and beverage company with two operating divisions: Fresh Dairy Direct and WhiteWave-Morningstar. The company maintains plants and distributors in the United Statesmarker and the United Kingdommarker.

History

In 1925, founder Samuel E. Dean purchased the Pecatonica Marketing Company, an evaporated milk processing facility located in northwestern Illinoismarker. In 1927 Dean renamed it Dean Evaporated Milk Company.That same year Dean purchased some local Illinois dairy plants. Dean Foods products are sold throughout the USA. Dean Foods products include: fluid milk, frozen vegetables, and processed pickles. Dean's product line includes ice cream, frozen desserts, canned vegetables, relishes, salad dressings, dips, and non-dairy creamers.

On December 21, 2001 Dean Foods was acquired by the Dallas based company Suiza Foods Corporation. Suiza began in 1995 when Gregg L. Engles, owner of commercial ice company Reddy Ice merged Reddy with Suiza Dairy which Engles had acquired in 1993. After the merger of Reddy and the dairy acquisitions, the company became Suiza Foods Corporation, based in Dallas, Texas. After the acquisition, Suiza changed its ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchangemarker from “SZA” to “DF” and moved all of its operations to Dallas, Texasmarker. On March 29, 2006, Dean Foods was added to the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index.

The original headquarters for Dean Foods was located in Illinoismarker but were moved to Dallas, Texasmarker after the merger with Suiza Foods. The company plans to move to Cityplace Centermarker in the Cityplace district sometime during the first quarter of 2010.

On August 9, 2006, The New York Times published an article regarding visitors to the web site YTMND.com and their humorous reviews on a gallon of "Tuscan Whole Milk" (a Deans Foods brand) available on Amazon.com.

In August 2006, Dean Foods acquired Jilbert's Dairy, a 70 year old family business near Marquette, Michiganmarker.

In December 2007, Dean Foods bought the Wells Dairy milk plant in Le Mars, Iowamarker.

Brands and Divisions

Dean Foods produces soy milk in the United States under the name Dean Foods and (Sun Soy). organic milk is marketed under the brand Horizon Organic.

Dean Foods subsidiary, White Wave Foods, is the distributor for Silk soy milk, Horizon Organic dairy products, International Delight creamer, some Land O'Lakes dairy products, Hershey's milk products, and Rachel's yogurt (both in the UK and the US).

The company's TofuTown brand and its various tofu products were acquired by the Hain Celestial Group in June 2007.

In addition, Dean Foods owns many other brand names such as Adohr Farms, AltaDena, Barbe's, Barber's, Berkeley Farms, Borden, Broughton Foods Company, Brown's Dairy, Celta, Country Delite, Country Fresh, Creamland, Dairy Ease, Dairy Fresh, Dean Foods Ultra, Gandy's, Garelick Farms, Hygeia, Ideal Dairy, Jilbert's Dairy, Lehigh Valley Dairies, Liberty Dairy, Louis Trauth, Mayfield Dairy, McArthur Dairy, Meadow Brook, Meadow Gold, Model Dairy, Oak Farms, PET Evaporated Milk, Price's, Purity, Reiter, Robinson Dairy, Schenkel's, Schepps, Shenandoah's Pride, Swiss Farms, T.G. Lee, Tuscan Dairy Farms, and Verifine.

Dean Foods licenses the Land O'Lakes brand, which markets creamers and fluid dairy products.

The Dean Foods Corporation owns other division companies across the United States that could be found in the listed located states of: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North & South Carolina, North & South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Dean Foods has 100 facilities located in 35 American states as well as locations in the United Kingdom.

Controversy

In 2001, the company was sued by seven former employers. The employees alleged that the company did not protect them from harassment by fellow workers in the workplace. The alleged harassment activity included the posting of swastikas and KKK graffiti as well as rope nooses and Confederate flags. According to the plant superintendent the nooses were “an old southern custom”. The incidents are said to have taken place between 1993 to 2000. The case was settled in May 2003 when plaintiffs agreed to a $3.3 million, out of court, settlement.

In 2003 two shareholders filed lawsuits against Dean Foods and Horizon Organic Holding Corp. alleging that Dean paid too little in their agreement to acquire the company. The lawsuits, which seek class-action status, also allege neither company met their legal obligation to satisfy the interests of the Horizon Organic shareholders. Executives at Dean Foods said the lawsuits were without merit. Dean Foods settled with the shareholders in May 2007.

In May 12, 2008 Cornucopia filed another complaint with the USDA declaring that Deans Foods restrained an abundant amount of their cows to an unhygienic feed yard in Snelling, California; federal organic regulations require such animals to be obtained in an organic environment containing access to pasture and fresh grass. Allegations from the federal agency were dismissed.

The Dean Foods' facilities in Colorado and Texas milk approximately 20,000 cows. These operations have been investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a result of complaints filed by Cornucopia representing the family-scale farming community.

In 2009, the company was criticized and accused of being a monopolistic broker.

In the fall of 2009 the Pioneer Press reported that the Cornucopia Institute had made complaints to the U.S. Department of Agriculture accusing Silk producer Dean Foods and its WhiteWave Foods division, of shifting their products away from organics without properly notifying retailers or consumers. According to the Star Telegram and other news sources, Silk brand soy milk was made using organic soybeans until early 2009 when Dean Foods switched to conventional soybeans while maintaining the same UPC barcodes and prices on the Silk products while replacing the word “organic” with “natural” on the Silk product packaging.

See also



Notes

  1. "" About Us." Dean Foods. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  2. Reuters.com
  3. Dean Foods Annual Report
  4. Hethcock, Bill. " Dean Foods to relocate corporate office." Dallas Business Journal. Monday June 8, 2009. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  5. www.FundingUniverse.com
  6. Report on acquisition of Jilbert's Dairy by Dean Foods
  7. Wells' Dairy to sell milk plant to Dean Foods - December 22, 2007
  8. Quarterly Report. Yahoo Finance. May 10 2007. Retrieved May 18 2007.
  9. www.coopamerica.org/programs/responsibleshopper
  10. www.galegroup.com
  11. [Independent Farmers Feel Squeezed By Milk Cartel] by John Burnett. All Things Considered, National Public Radio. 20 August 2009.
  12. Twin Cities.com Pioneer Press, "Watchdog charges Target", [1]
  13. Cornucopia Institute web site [2]
  14. Dean Foods Pulls Bait n Switch, Mike Adams, [3]
  15. Star Telegram, Grocers Irked to Find Out Soy Milk Not Organic, [4]


External links

  • Dean Foods official web site [226120]
  • Dean Foods stock info
  • Dean Foods page at Coop America [226121]
  • Dean Foods company history [226122]



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