MINNEAPOLIS — Pipeline Foods, a supply chain solutions company focused exclusively on organic, non-G.M.O. and regenerative food and feed, announced on Oct. 29 it has reached an agreement, in principle, to acquire the ancient grains and specialty products business of Organic Ventures. As part of the acquisition, Organic Ventures’ president, Rick Halverson, will join Pipeline Foods as an equity shareholder.
Organic Ventures is the parent company to Great River Organic Milling, based in Arcadia near the Mississippi river in western Wisconsin.
The acquisition complements Pipeline Foods’ product portfolio across the Americas by adding ancient grains to its offerings, and further bolsters its focus on organic corn products. Pipeline Foods will extend all services, including grain merchandising and the company’s Farm Profit and Ag Impact programs, to its expanded grower and customer base.
“We laid out an ambitious goal when we entered the market in 2017 to dramatically increase the amount of organic and non-G.M.O. grain grown in the U.S.,” said Eric Jackson, founder and board chairman of Pipeline Foods. “This is a critical next step in our company’s growth. It will add new capabilities and products to the existing Pipeline Foods portfolio — a benefit to both our farmers and food company customers.”
Great River Organic Milling offers organic bread flour, organic flour blends, organic specialty products, organic whole grains, organic breakfast options (including hot cereal, pancake/waffle mixes and a variety of milled oats options), ancient grains and gluten-free products. The company markets its products under the Great River Organic Milling brand.
Moving forward, Pipeline Foods will originate all grain and ingredients for the Organic Ventures lines of business, bringing operational efficiencies to both companies. Great River Organic Milling will continue to own all Organic Ventures retail-marketed and wheat flour products. Mr. Halverson will come on board as a business unit manager for the Pipeline Foods commercial team, adding another highly experienced organic market developer to the Pipeline Foods roster.
“I am thrilled to be joining the team and look forward to working with the knowledgeable and talented folks at Pipeline Foods to further develop the organic ancient grains and specialty products business unit,” Mr. Halverson said.
Business and financial advisory firm Ascendant Partners led the sales effort for Organic Ventures on the deal.
“This process brought together two complementary partners truly committed to the organic industry and its success,” said Mark Warren, partner at Ascendant Partners. “We’re extremely pleased to complete the sales process for Organic Ventures so that Rick can continue to focus on delivering exceptional customer service and value to the growers and end users while leveraging the resources and strengths of Pipeline Foods.”
Established in 2017, Pipeline Foods has been steadily expanding its business profile in the regenerative/organic space. In 2017, it acquired a grain elevator in Iowa and opened a new elevator in North Dakota. Earlier this year Pipeline acquired the specialty and organic corn and soy business from SunOpta, Inc.