Church Brothers Farms Acquires Commodity Vegetable Business of Growers Express
- by Jessica Donnel
SALINAS, CA - Church Brothers Farms announced that it has made a deal to acquire the commodity vegetable business of Growers Express. With the deal, Church Brothers Farms will also acquire a licensing agreement to extend the Green Giant™ Fresh brand to new varieties in partnership with Growers Express. All in all, the company is expected to expand its overall annual production by 15 percent to 20 percent through the deal.
“We built a superior land base over the last decade making this a great fit,” said Brian Church, CEO of Church Brothers Farms. “Church Brothers Farms is positioned to align this new business into an existing vertically integrated program, which helps make the shift in business a seamless change for Growers Express customers in terms of the consistency of the field packed vegetable product line.”
According to a press release, assets acquired by Church Brothers Farms include the growing, harvesting, and selling of field-packed vegetable commodities currently branded under Growers Express’ Green Giant Fresh license. Under the deal, Growers Express will retain the segment of its business that helped develop product innovations such as Cauliflower Crumbles®, Vegetable Noodles, and Green Giant Fresh Vegetable Bowls.
“The transition of our commodity vegetable business allows us to better leverage our expertise as innovators and marketers,” said Jamie Strachan, CEO of Growers Express. “It also gives us bandwidth to deliver more new products, consumer-focused innovation, and value-added products to advance the business of our customers. We are a business rooted in farming, and we’ve been serving the commodity category for 30 years, so it was vital we find a partner that allows for seamless continuity for our farming operations, and Church Brothers Farms is an ideal partner.”
The Growers Express commodity sales team will transition to operate under Church Brothers Farms’ leadership before the end of the desert winter growing season. The company also noted that customers will receive the same quality, service, branded product, personnel, volume, and service levels throughout the transition.
“This move increases efficiencies and leverages the strengths of both organizations,” Church continued. “There will be no overlap of customers by combining these programs; our existing program is predominantly food service and Growers Express’ is retail. Existing customers of both companies can be assured their designated volume is still in place, just shifting all under one company.”
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