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About Fresh Produce

Fresh Produce is a women's lifestyle brand known for its original prints, vibrant color and stylish, comfortable clothing. The company designs, manufactures and markets a women's clothing line that is primarily made in the USA.

Fresh Produce Headquarter Location

2865 Wilderness Place

Boulder, Colorado, 80301,

United States

303-444-7573

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Latest Fresh Produce News

Phatisa Leads Consortium Investment in S. African Fresh Produce and Citrus Exporter Lona Group

May 24, 2022

Phatisa Leads Consortium Investment in S. African Fresh Produce and Citrus Exporter Lona Group May 24, 2022 By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media Phatisa, a sector-focused African private equity firm with the mission of feeding and housing the continent, has led a consortium of development finance institutions (DFIs) – including British International Investments (BII – formers CDC Group), Norfund, and Finnfund –  to invest in South African citrus and fresh produce exporter Lona Group . The capital from this undisclosed investment will be used by Lona Group to support the company in achieving its expansion goals. All three participants in the round: BII, Norfund, and Finnfund, were previous investors in Phastisa’s Food Fund 2 (PFF 2),  which closed on $143 million in February 2021. PFF’s predecessor, the African Agriculture Fund (AAF) , was launched in 2009 as a coordinated effort by a consortium of European and African financial institutions to develop a fund that would have a positive impact on agriculture and food production in Africa through a pan-African approach. Its mission proved successful, having created more than 1,800 jobs and benefiting farmers in 20 markets across the continent. Building on this success, PFF 2 seeks majority and significant minority stakes in companies in which it will have representation on the board or other shareholder rights. It will target managed buyouts, partial exits, and capital commitments needed for business expansion ranging between $15 million – $25 million across the African food value chain, including food production, processing, ag inputs, mechanization, food aggregation, logistics, infrastructure, distribution and speciality retail businesses, branded foods, beverages, and food service. Established by CEO Spencer Johnson in 1996, Lona Group is one of the largest integrated fruit businesses in South Africa, involved in a range of activities across the value chain including farming; aggregating and packing fruit (mango, citrus, grapes, olives, and stone fruit); cold storage and logistics; marketing fruit for export and domestic consumption; and the processing of fruits and vegetables. Touching so many points on the supply chain, Lona Group has tight control of its operations and traceability, giving it well-known reliability amongst its customers. “From ‘seed to shelf’ is Lona’s philosophy,” said Ryan Burns, senior associate, Phatisa. “Their integration from producers to buyers is remarkable and means that fruit is carefully handled within the strictest standards, resulting in superior quality and reduced wastage.” Beyond its own production, Lona Group also offers an integrated platform for other producers, and has expanded into value-added products such as dried fruit through its two M-Pak facilities, Veggie Crisps, and becoming the local leader in table olives through its brand, Cape Olives. Most recently, it has also acquired a majority stake in Unlimited Group – an integrated producer, packer, processor, and exporter and importer of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. “Growing from humble roots, Spencer and his team have built an impressive business, which Phatisa has been attracted to for some time,” said Martin Kromat, senior partner, Phatisa. “Integral to our negotiations with them has been our partnership philosophy, and shared belief that we can achieve commercial outcomes while safeguarding the environment and communities which Lona touches,” Kromat continued, “Together with our co-investment partners, we are genuinely excited to play our part in the business’ continued growth and domestic as well as export expansion.” In addition to the significant volumes of fresh produce exported each year, Lona Group now exports about 5 million cartons of citrus, mostly to the UK and Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia, and increasingly, to other African nations. Behind this achievement, along with Lona Group’s farming and packing operations in the Western and Eastern Cape, in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and Zimbabwe, the group also has built out some of the most advanced automated cold storage facilities on the continent. This gives not only Lona but its third-party customers, access to state-of-the-art, efficient cold storage capabilities, ensuring long shelf life and the reduction of food waste. “We are impressed with the sophisticated supply chain Lona has developed, covering producers, logistics, and cold stores,” said Andreas Davidsen, vice president and head of agribusiness and manufacturing, Norfund. “By investing in their world-class facilities, processes and expertise, we believe we can contribute to providing food security, while creating much needed jobs, in line with Norfund’s strategy of investing in agricultural value chains.” The consortium’s expansion capital will be used by Lona to manifest improvements to its facilities, particularly the building of new packhouses; orchard netting to protect crops from adverse weather; the development of innovative fruit and value-added products; and to make the overall business more climate resilient while reducing its carbon footprint. “…we are excited by Lona’s commitment to institute a net zero carbon plan within the next decade, an undertaking which reinforces the integrity and sustainability of the business,” commented Markus Pentikäinen, investment manager, Finnfund. Spencer Johnson, CEO of Lona Group, added, “While the decision to seek expansion capital to grow Lona was relatively easy, finding the right business partner, who shared our passion and values, was more challenging.” “Over the course of the past year, I’ve come to know and admire the Phatisa team, plus – more recently – our other co-investors,” Johnson continued. “We are proud to be partnering with such experienced, principled investors and know that we have much to share and learn from each other as we realize our vision for Lona.” Sarah Mathies, head of PE sector funds, BII, concluded, “We are confident that Lona Group’s deep market knowledge and strong growth track record, will help to strengthen the food value chain, and increase productive and inclusive economic opportunities for low-income workers, particularly women. Moreover, we are excited to support Lona Group in increasing climate adaptation initiatives that will boost business resilience and enhance sustainability within South Africa’s agriculture sector.”   ~ Lynda Kiernan-Stone is editor with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s  AgInvesting Weekly News  and   Agtech Intel News , as well as HighQuest Group’s  Unconventional Ag . She can be reached at  lkiernan-stone@ *The content put forth by Global AgInvesting News and its parent company HighQuest Partners is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. All information or other material herein is not to be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Global AgInvesting and HighQuest Partners are not a fiduciary in any manner, and the reader assumes the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content on this site. You might also enjoy:

Fresh Produce Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

Fresh Produce acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was Brogan Partners on January 17, 2012.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

1/17/2012

$99M

Acquired

Date

1/17/2012

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Total Funding

Note

Acquired

Sources

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