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Frutura’s CEO comments on the company’s berry acquisitions:

“It’s a dream come true”

Frutura recently announced it has signed agreements to acquire Giddings Fruit and Sun Belle, two companies that play a significant role in the berry industry. "We consider these to be pinnacle transactions for Frutura in terms of scale and a unique opportunity to strengthen our presence in the berry business in a meaningful way," says David Krause, CEO of Frutura. "It's a dream come true to have made these acquisitions, and they will unlock real value for Frutura's customers, as well as for grower-clients." Berries are one of the six crops that Frutura specializes in grapes, citrus, avocados, berries, mangos, and cherries. For each of these crops, it is the company's goal to offer 52 weeks of supply per year.

"Since we were established in 2021, we've made strategic investments in grapes, citrus, and avocados. Berries are the next critical component to best serve our customers," commented Krause. "Looking at per capita consumption growth, berries are one of the fruit varieties that's right up there," he said. Nevertheless, it took Frutura over a year to find the right partners. "We did a lot of work trying to understand the different players in the industry, and the Giddings – Sun Belle combination is very unique." The two companies have been working together for over ten years, but they maintained separate owner structures. "Because the two businesses are already so intertwined, there will be very little integration work to do, and we can instead focus on optimizing," added Krause. Of key importance to the transactions is that management will stay on board. "We get to keep the secret sauce."

Left: David Krause

Vertical integration
Both companies meet Frutura's goal of sourcing from different geographies, providing products 52 weeks per year, and selling it globally. In terms of sourcing from multiple regions, Giddings Fruit grows berries in Chile, Peru, and Mexico. Sun Belle also brings in berries from these regions and works with growers in Oregon, Washington, Michigan, and Florida. While the sourcing side is well covered, these acquisitions go one step further. "These transactions are the ultimate example of vertical integration. Not only is some of the land owned, and do the companies work with partner growers, but Giddings Fruit is a breeder of blackberries and raspberries through its wholly-owned subsidiary Black Venture Farm in Mexico," shared Krause. The company has breeding as well as nursery programs.

Distribution markets
While the transaction enables Frutura to source products from different geographies, it also supports the company's goal of distribution in three major markets: North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. "While we already have strong coverage in North America, we are developing a strategy to create a position in Europe that, at some point, might equal our position in the North American market." Giddings Fruit's China office will play a key role in supplying the Pacific Rim region.

In addition to berries, the acquisition boosts Frutura's presence in the cherry segment. Cherries are a core crop of Giddings through their subsidiary Cerasus. "Coupled with the cherry activities of previously-acquired Subsole, this acquisition will make us a significant cherry player," said Krause. Cherries will be sourced from Chile, Washington, and Oregon.

Click here to read yesterday's announcement.

For more information:
Maureen Crow
[email protected]