- By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
Pipeline Foods Continues North American Expansion with Acquisition of Organic Ventures’ Business
Pipeline Foods, the first U.S.-based food supply chain company focused solely on establishing sustainable global supply chains for organic and non-GMO food and feed, continues its North American growth with the acquisition of Organic Ventures’ ancient grains and specialty products business.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rick Halverson, president of Organic Ventures, will join Pipeline Foods as a shareholder.
GAI News first reported on Pipeline Foods in February 2017 when AMERRA Capital Management and Pipeline Opportunity Partners announced their partnership to launch the company. On September 6 of that same year Pipeline announced the official launch of its global operations and its plans to invest between $300 million and $500 million over the next three to five years in assets to support its growth.
In response to consumer demand, major players have been increasing their sourcing of organic and non-GMO ingredients, or have been making changes to their product lines, according to Civil Eats. However, while demand dynamics have been changing, large scale supply chain models have not kept pace.
Minneapolis-based Pipeline Foods plans to fill this gap, and provide a complete solution to these and other food companies that are expanding their organic and non-GMO business through a procurement strategy that secures a transparent, long-term, socially responsible, and sustainable supply of ingredients.
And while organic grain production in the U.S. is increasing, the U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration and the Organic Trade Association contend in their recently released report - U.S. Organic Grain - How to Keep it Growing - that it isn’t increasing quickly enough to meet the needs of a demanding market, or in a way to support a reliable supply for the future.
The report finds that between 2008 and 2016, U.S. acreage dedicated to the production of organic soybeans, corn, wheat, oats, and barley increased more than 20 percent from 626,000 acres to 763.000 acres. However, the organic livestock products industry almost tripled in size, from a value of $1.2 billion to $3.3 billion over the same time period.
One barrier slowing the expansion of organic production has been the lack of dedicated infrastructure available to support this needed growth. And it has been Pipeline’s goal to build out the necessary networks to efficiently handle greater volumes of organic and non-GMO grains.
This acquisition will complement Pipeline’s existing portfolio across the America’s by adding ancient grains to its offerings, and by strengthening its focus on organic corn products.
"We laid out an ambitious goal when we entered the market in 2017 to dramatically increase the amount of organic and non-GMO grain grown in the U.S.," said Eric Jackson, founder and board chairman of Pipeline Foods. "This is a critical next step in our company's growth. It will add new capabilities and products to the existing Pipeline Foods portfolio – a benefit to both our farmers and food company customers."
Moving forward, Pipeline will originate all grain and ingredients for the Organic Ventures ancient and specialty grains business, as well as its subsidiary, Great River Organic Milling, which will continue to own all Organic Ventures’ retail-marketed and wheat flour products.
Additionally, Rick Halverson will assume the role of business unit manager for the Pipeline Foods commercial team.
"I am thrilled to be joining the team and look forward to working with the knowledgeable and talented folks at Pipeline Foods to further develop the organic ancient grains and specialty products business unit," said Halverson.