Jan 30, 2019Church Brothers Farms buys Growers Express’ vegetable unit
Salinas, California-based Church Brothers Farms has acquired the commodity vegetable business of Growers Express and a licensing agreement to extend the Green Giant™ Fresh brand to new varieties in partnership with Growers Express. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Church Brothers Farms said the acquired assets include the growing, harvesting and selling of field-packed vegetable commodities currently branded under Growers Express’ Green Giant Fresh license. Growers Express retains the high growth, value-added segment of its business where innovations such as Cauliflower Crumbles®, Vegetable Noodles and Green Giant Fresh Vegetable Bowls were first brought to market.
“The transition of our commodity vegetable business allows us to better leverage our expertise as innovators, and marketers. It also gives us bandwidth to deliver more new products, consumer-focused innovation and value-added products to advance the business of our customers,” said Jamie Strachan, CEO of Growers Express. “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 Church Brothers Farms before the end of the desert winter growing season. As a result, customers will receive the same quality, service, branded product, personnel, volume and service levels throughout the transition.
Brian Church, CEO of Church Brothers Farms, said: “We built a superior land base over the last decade making this a great fit. 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.”
The transaction is expected to expand Church Brothers Farms’ overall annual production by 15 to 20 percent.
“This move increases efficiencies and leverages the strengths of both organizations,” Church said. “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.”
Church Brothers Farms is a vertically-integrated family owned and operated company that produces a full line of fresh vegetables year-round with an in-house farming/harvest program and state of the art processing plant, True Leaf Farms. We are a grower-owned processor, farming the majority of our raw product ourselves; adhering to industry-leading food safety and quality standards. The Church family has a legacy of service and innovation. For more information about the company visit ChurchBrothers.com.
Founded in 1987, Growers Express, LLC (GE) is a farmer-owned innovator of premium-quality fresh “value added” vegetable products, including first-to-market innovations such as Cauliflower Crumbles® and vegetable noodles. Located in Salinas, California, also referred to as the “salad bowl of the world,” Growers Express is the primary licensed partner of Green Giant™ Fresh, the exclusive fresh produce arm of the iconic Green Giant® brand.