Oct 18, 2023Frutura to acquire U.S., Chilean berry companies
Frutura, a global sales and marketing platform for fruit, plans to acquire berry companies Giddings Fruit and Sun Belle.
“The agreements we announce today are among the most significant acquisitions Frutura has made to date,” David Krause, Frutura’s CEO, said in an Oct. 16 news release. “These simply feel like deals destined to happen. Common ownership will unlock the value of these two tremendous companies in a profound way, for both our customers and grower-partners.”
Giddings Fruit, headquartered in Santiago, is a leading global supplier of organic and conventional berries and cherries. Giddings has massive berry growing and packing operations in Mexico and South America, and Chile-based Giddings’ Cerasus is an international cherry grower and marketer. Giddings is “as close to a 52-week supplier” of premium berries and cherries as it is possible, according to the release, which is key to Frutura’s strategy.
Sun Belle, based near Chicago O’Hare International Airport, is a year-round marketer of a full line of conventional and organic berries, principally sold under the Sun Belle and Green Belle brands. The company works closely with international and domestic grower-partners to optimize fruit quality and to source desirable new varieties. Sun Belle has built a superb infrastructure and distribution platform, with five U.S. warehouse operations, assuring customers of reliable and prompt deliveries of fresh, high-quality berries.
Frutura anticipates a smooth integration, due to a decades-long relationship between Sun Belle and Giddings. The companies have worked closely together on distribution, marketing and logistics, with Sun Belle serving as the exclusive sales agent for Giddings’ berries grown in Mexico. Additionally, the two companies share a well-deserved reputation as innovators in berry varietal genetics through Giddings’ Black Venture Farm, as well as through partnerships with breeding ventures and leading academic institutions.
Sun Belle founder Janice Honigberg will continue as CEO and founder Julio Giddings becomes chair emeritus of Giddings Fruit. Both will join Frutura’s board of directors.