Private equity firm Manna Tree Partners has made a minority investment of $15 million in US organic beef producer Verde Farms.
Based in Massachusetts, Verde Farms is said to supply retail, club, and foodservice customers with 100% grass-fed, 100% pasture-raised, organic beef.
Founded in 2005, the organic beef producer is claimed to have increased its revenue by more than 35% since 2016 by fast-tracking growth of branded, value-added products. Some of its customers are Wegmans, Aldi, Harris Teeter, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Fresh Thyme, BJs Wholesale Clubs, Schnuck’s, Bristol Farms, and True Foods Kitchen.
Verde Farms’ vertically-integrated model provides best-in-class, healthier beef at competitive prices. The company’s top four beef originations are Uruguay, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, while its top products are steaks, grinds, roasts and stews, sausages, and hot dogs.
Dana Ehrlich – CEO of Verde Farms said: “Manna Tree Partners shares our mission-driven commitment to providing consumers with beef that is better for people, better for the animal, and better for the planet and to craft products using only great-tasting, authentic ingredients like those you can find in your own cupboard at home.
“This partnership will better enable us to meet rising global demand for 100% grass-fed, 100% pasture-raised beef. In 2020 we are excited to introduce innovative, ready-to-eat mealtime options unlike anything on the market and to continue our geographic expansion within the United States in the near-term and internationally in the long-term.”
Established in 2018, Manna Tree Partners is an asset management firm based in Colorado, which focuses on investing growth capital in firms that produce, process, and distribute healthy food. The transaction with Verde Farms is the fourth investment of the private equity firm with its earlier three investments being Vital Farms, MycoTechnology and Nutriati.
Brent Drever – Manna Tree Partners said: “Consumers today are more keenly attuned to the impacts of their purchase decisions from a health and sustainability standpoint. We believe Verde is well-positioned to become the brand of choice for these consumers based on their sustainability and animal welfare standards, superior-quality products, traceable supply chain, and a proven, sustainable business model.”
“The grass-fed organic beef market remains under-penetrated with significant opportunity to expand with a branded product offering and a thoughtful go-to-market strategy. Dana Ehrlich and his team are tapping into that incredible growth opportunity.”