Italian baked goods and ready-meals producer Germinal Group has expanded into the pasta segment with the purchase of local firm Astra Bio.

Both companies are dedicated to organic products, with Astra Bio also having the agricultural cooperative Iris under its wing, cultivating buckwheat, maize, tomatoes and leafy vegetables.

Germinal has taken control of Astra Bio, based in Casteldidone in the northern Italian province of Cremona, with the support of its financing partner, investment-management company Tasco Group, it said in a statement. Financial details were not disclosed.

Astra Bio supplies a range of organic pasta, sauces and flours under the Iris label to the Italian market from its single manufacturing facility, which will take Germinal’s capabilities to three production plants.

Germinal was founded around forty years ago by Emanuele Zuanetti. Based in the town of Castelfranco Veneto in northern Italy, it has one factory for baked goods and another for vegan ready meals, supplying branded products and also private label for retail.

Its assortment includes cereals and snack bars, biscuits, dressings, baby foods and vegan ready meals under brands such as Mangiarsano, Germinal Bio, BioBimbo and Bio Junior.

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By GlobalData

Zuanetti said: “This operation allows us to expand our offer and enter the pasta segment, and is part of our path to promote sustainable organic [produce]: from the countryside to your table. Our pasta factory produces exclusively organic pasta and uses grains from a 100% Italian agricultural supply chain. The enhancement of supply chains, with a circular economy perspective, is for us one of the long-term strategic objectives.”