Frutura Produce in California has struck a duo of fruit deals in the berries category, snapping up Sun Belle and Giddings Fruit.
David Krause, the CEO of Frutura, based in the California city of Reedley, said the acquisitions are the “most significant” the business has made.
“Common ownership will unlock the value of these two tremendous companies in a profound way, for both our customers and grower-partners,” he said in a statement.
Chile-based Giddings Fruit, headquartered in Santiago, is an all-year-round supplier of organic and conventional berries and cherries. It has growing and packing operations in Mexico and South America.
Set up in 1985, Giddings Fruit also has commercial offices in the UK and Asia. Founder Julio Giddings becomes the company’s chairperson and will join Frutura’s board of directors.
“I’m delighted to grow our now-collective platform together and to open new global markets for Frutura as we seek to identify additional revenue streams,” Giddings said.
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Sun Belle, located near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, also produces organic and conventional berries under its namesake brand and also the Green Belle line. The company has five warehouse operations in the US, supplying blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries and red currants.
Founder Janice Honigberg will continue as CEO of Sun Belle.
“This deal will unleash Sun Belle’s full potential to meet consumer desire for the best varieties of premium-quality fresh berries and other fruit in attractive and innovative packaging year-round,” Honigberg said. “The Sun Belle team is thrilled to join Frutura in its mission to expand its worldwide business.”
Frutura also has a majority stake – acquired in 2021 – in the Peru-based fruit company Agricola Don Ricardo, which supplies grapes, mandarins, avocados and blueberries.
The same year, it purchased California-based Dayka & Hackett, which imports, sells and markets grapes, citrus, stone fruits, mangoes and avocados.
Also in 2021, TerraFresh Organics in California was bought followed in 2022 by Chile-based Subsole.
In other recent fruit deals, Spain’s Planasa took full control of its China blueberry subsidiary Meiming. Planasa itself was acquired by German family-owned investment company EW Group in September.
In September, Viru Group acquired US frozen fruit and vegetable peer Superior Foods International and Grupo Hame bought Peru’s Agrokasa. And back in July, Spanish citrus fruit growers and suppliers, Guillem Export and Frutas Tono, also merged.