US-based mushroom cultivator and supplier South Mill Champs has acquired World Fresh Produce, a fresh fruit grower and sourcing business in New Jersey.

Pennsylvania-based South Mill Champs, one of North America’s largest mushroom processors, did not disclose the price paid for World Fresh Produce, which was set up in 2018 by Michel Matouk.

World Fresh Produce supplies citrus fruits, pears, apples and kiwifruit grown on its own farms and also sourced overseas from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, according to its website.

The acquired company’s “offshore, direct-from-grower, supply relationships create value chains where customers obtain efficient and consistent supply, and growers gain access to key markets in North America”, South Mill Champs said in a statement today (28 November).

Michael Richmond, vice president of sales at South Mill Champs, added: “World Fresh Produce’s dedication to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction aligns seamlessly with our goals and values at South Mill Champs.”

South Mill Champs has mushroom cultivation and processing operations in British Columbia, Manitoba, Pennsylvania and Maryland. It has distribution facilities across the US located in states including California, Texas and Georgia, as well as at its base in Kennett Square in Pennsylvania.

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It supplies the retail, foodservice and wholesale channels, and also serves mushroom processing customers.

Matouk, who will become South Mill Champs’ vice president of global sourcing, said: “With World Fresh Produce now part of the South Mill Champs family, we are even better positioned to meet the diverse needs of customers across North America.

“The addition of World Fresh Produce to the South Mill Champs group of companies enhances the reach of World Fresh Produce through South Mill Champs’ existing network of distribution and repacking cold chain facilities strategically located across North America.”

SMC expanded in the mushroom market in 2021 with the acquisition of The Mushroom Company, which operates a processing facility in Cambridge, Maryland.
As it stands today, the group was formed in 2017 after South Mill of Pennsylvania merged with Canadian firm Champ’s Mushrooms.