Verde Farms, a US supplier of organic beef products, has secured further funding to add to an earlier US$15m Series A investment and has appointed the CEO of sausage maker Johnsonville to its board of directors.
Building on this year’s cash injection from private-equity firm Manna Tree Partners, which took a minority stake in Woburn, Massachusetts-based Verde, the company has now received a further $10m.
It came from “minority investors”, including Johnsonville Holdings, the parent company of Johnsonville LLC, and National Hockey League player Alex Biega, “completing its Series A and bringing total investment to date to $25m”, Verde said in a statement.
Nick Meriggioli, the CEO of Johnsonville LLC and a former executive at Kraft Foods – which became Kraft Heinz in 2015 following a merger with H.J. Heinz – has joined the Verde board.
Meriggioli will sit on the board along with Verde’s founder and CEO Dana Ehrlich, co-founder Pablo Garbarino, and Manna Tree Partners’ co-founder and COO Brent Drever. Verde also plans to add a fifth member to the board, although it did not provide a time frame.
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Established in 2005, Verde supplies 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised organic beef products such as steaks, hot dogs, sausages and mince to retail and foodservice customers, including Wal-Mart, Wegmans and Amazon. The company has recently added Costco, Sam’s Club, Albertsons and Ahold to its list of customers.
Meriggioli said: “I admire Verde’s passion for producing great tasting, healthy and sustainable meats. I look forward to partnering with Dana, Pablo and Brent, sharing my experience to support the acceleration of Verde’s brand and product portfolio growth.”
Verde added it has increased processing capacity at its Mullica Hill plant in New Jersey this year by adding a second production line and has seen sales increase by 31% in its current fiscal year.
“In addition to Nick’s CPG expertise and career successes, he was known to foster a people-first culture in his leadership roles, a focus that aligns well with our brand approach,” said CEO Ehrlich.