Naturipe Farms partners, Munger Brothers, LLC and Hortifrut S.A. announced a merger today that establishes a global berry network, reaching across the Pacific coast and beyond.
The new subsidiary of Hortifrut S.A., Munger-Hortifrut North America, Inc., brings together operations in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Munger-Hortifrut North America, Inc. will manage operations in North America.
The move cements Hortifrut's status as a premier global berry supplier and stays in line with the company's strategic goals, explained Hortifrut founder and chairman Victor Moller.
“With this unique event in the produce industry, we have integrated berry production across the spine of the Pacific coast line from British Columbia in the north to the southern tip of Chile," Moller said in a press release.
"With this merger, Hortifrut S.A. strengthens its position as a leading integrated blueberry grower/distributor globally. Additionally this will enable us to consolidate our position in other important markets such as Europe and Asia.”
Munger Brothers, LLC, owned by David and Kable Munger, represents the largest fresh blueberry production in North America, with over 3,000 acres across British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and Mexico.
The company has made its mark in California's industry thanks to investment in recent years in proprietary varieties, new growing techniques, advanced post-harvest technologies and unique innovations in packing and processing facilities for dried fruit, IQF (frozen fruit) and value-added products.
Moller said the merger represents a decade of partnership with the Munger family.
"Our families share the passion, traditions and principles that are the hallmark of farming families spanning many generations. This unique alignment enables even greater stability for the next generation of our families, partners and employees who are already entrenched on the front lines of our respective companies," Moller said in a press release.
Munger Brothers co-founder David Munger said the partnership will support new projects in North America.
"Our family is thrilled to be merging with Hortifrut and the Moller family, our cultures and values are closely aligned and we are confident this will be a seamless transition. We have collaborated for many years sharing innovations, best practices, and at times, our highly experienced, dedicated and knowledgeable staffs," Munger said in a press release.
Naturipe Farms CEO Dwight Ferguson welcomed the merger as a natural extension of long-established collaboration.
“Both are leading berry companies, highly innovative with experienced and knowledgeable management teams who have consistently focused on exceptional customer and consumer experiences," Ferguson said in a press release.
The merger is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2016, following the completion of successful due-diligence, Hortifrut S.A. shareholder approval, and receipt of various third party approvals.
Fresh Fruit Portal