[12/30/21] New Owners For Chelan Fruit
An item we’re not surprised to see: the Chelan Fruit Cooperative has been acquired by the International Farming (“IFC”), an institutional asset manager connecting investors at the nexus of farmland, farmers and food.
A press release stated that IFC has been a partner for Chelan Fruit for six years prior to the transaction and will continue to work with the grower base and preserve their legacy in the next phase of the business. The combination of Chelan Fruit’s grower base and IFC’s nearly 5,000-acre existing Washington State tree fruit footprint provides a unique opportunity to enhance grower economics through economies of scale and providing a consistent high-quality fruit supply.
Founded in 1921, Chelan Fruit is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a grower-owned cooperative.
IFC is a privately-owned institutional asset manager that partners with farmers to help maximize farm profitability through progressive farming and preventive farming techniques. Founded in 2009, IFC has family roots in agribusiness that date back to 1827. IFC applies their deep knowledge of agriculture, in-house agronomy solutions and global relationships with farmers to unlock the value of farmland.
We were expecting that news; the transaction was alluded to in a news release last month announcing a lawsuit against Chelan Fruit by four members of the cooperative alleging, quoting here, “breaches of fiduciary duty by current and former officers and directors and failure to fully inform them regarding the pending IFC transaction.” We have contacted both the attorneys and Chelan Fruit for comment, as of yet, they have not responded.