Harbinger Group LLC, the Monterey, Calif., parent company of Green Wave Farms, Vertical Foods, Epic Foods and Fresh Produce Partners, acquired organic specialty salad pioneer Misionero Vegetables, Gonzales, Calif., effective immediately.
The new organization reunites Stephen Griffin of Misionero with Todd Koons and Thomas Minnich of Harbinger, each of who were on the forefront of the organic revolution.
The firm also announced it will use “Misionero” as the new business name encompassing brands and products that include Misionero Vegetables’ Garden Life and Earth Greens Organics, along with Epic Foods, Green Wave Farms and Vertical Foods. Collectively, these brands share deep expertise in smaller scale farming and a commitment to best practices around organic and conventional growing methods for quality and safety.
Combined under the Misionero name, they will have the opportunity to gain efficiencies in packing and logistics and drive innovation across the business.
Pete Donlon, formerly chief executive officer of Earthbound Farm, joined the team as vice president. Joel Rudnick moves from general manager at Green Wave Farms to vice president. Peter Meehan, Newman’s Own Organics president, and Mike Thurlow, chief executive officer of Mountain View Fruit Sales, will serve as board members.
“With more than 40 years of experience, Misionero Vegetables has long been a highly regarded pioneer in the organic specialty salad category,” says Minnich. “I had the honor of serving as president of sales from 1988-1998 when we were a part of spearheading organics and helped to establish new standards that have since been adopted broadly across the marketplace. In this new organization, we will maintain Misionero Vegetables’ commitment to providing fresh quality products that are easy to use, delicious and nutritious without compromising quality or harming the environment. All of us are dedicated to investing in our planet’s future and the long-term health of our families and future generations from the fields to consumer’s plates.”
“The Harbinger team’s stellar reputation in our industry is based on their track record of consistently bringing timely and meaningful innovation to organic produce since the late 1980s,” says Griffin, the former CEO of Misionero Vegetables, who is now a Misionero partner and board member. “I speak for our entire organization when I say we are pleased to reunite with our former colleagues and bring forward new advancements in the produce world.”
“We fully recognize and appreciate the trust consumers have in our brands,” says Misionero’s new president and COO, Joe Merenda. “We want to build upon their confidence and incorporate their evolving needs across our companies. We will do this with a proven team built around new product innovation, superior execution and a customer-centric culture.”