NatureSweet expands through joint venture
NatureSweet is expanding its operations through a joint venture with Ganfer, a premier high technology greenhouse grower in Mexico, strengthening its position as one of the largest vertically integrated sources of greenhouse-grown produce in North America. The joint venture will immediately add over 200 acres to the more than 1,200 acres already owned by NatureSweet, allowing the company to accelerate its growing capacity.
“We are thrilled to partner with Ganfer to create this Joint Venture and further accelerate our growth. We have worked together for four years, and they have been instrumental in providing the quality that customers and consumers have always expected from NatureSweet small tomatoes, on top of a much broader spectrum of greenhouse-grown vegetables," said Rodolfo Spielmann, president and CEO of NatureSweet. “This is not only about getting to over 1,400 acres of vertical integration today, but also accelerating newly added capacity moving forward, as we expect to add at least another 150 acres by the end of 2022 and continue building from there.”
NatureSweet’s growth acceleration comes from increasing its share leadership in its main business of small tomatoes thanks to category-leading marketing investment, innovation, and partnerships with premier retailers in North America, while at the same time extending the brand into a vast array of greenhouse-grown vegetables.
“We invested the last three years learning and perfecting our offering beyond small tomatoes. We wanted to be 100 percent confident that we have a superior product for our retail partners and consumers, and now we have a proposition that adds up to a 20 percent sales increase versus what you can see from the commodity products in the market today,” said Spielmann. “Ganfer has been a key partner in our growth; the quality you see from their high technology greenhouses and team is unparalleled.”
NatureSweet’s focus on becoming the single-source solution for greenhouse-grown produce in North America by 2023 found the perfect catalyst in Ganfer’s human approach to innovation and agricultural technology. “We are very excited to start this joint venture with NatureSweet. This is beyond just growing superior products, but it’s also about a vision to leverage higher technology to accelerate and maximize our positive impact in our communities and the planet," said German Gándara, president and CEO of Ganfer.
The joint venture represents a major step toward strengthening NatureSweet’s vertical integration. The company controls every step of the production process, from seed to shelf, secures effective traceability, quality control, and food safety practices.
NatureSweet said it remains focused on its mission to transform the lives of agricultural workers in North American, demonstrated by having among the largest acreages of protected agriculture globally that is certified by both Fair Trade and the Equitable Food Initiative, directly improving the lives of approximately 10,000 workers, on top of the half a million lives touched in the last decade by the company’s recognized community work.