Hart Dairy, Augusta, Ga., closed its $10 million seed round to catalyze the long-term growth of the company. The funding round was led by Sydney, Australia-based Alium Capital to enable Hart Dairy’s growth in America and Asia. Hart Dairy will deploy the capital to further expand its premium and better-for-you dairy product offerings, increase production capabilities and continue innovation of forward-thinking animal welfare practices.

“This significant influx of new capital is a clear validation of how we see free-range, grass-fed milk emerging in America,” says Tim Connell, chief executive officer of Hart Dairy. “With consumers’ paradigm shift toward better-for-you products and our recent Certified Humane certification for the farms we care for most, we believe we are on the right trajectory. Having a world-class organization such as Alium Capital in our corner is a huge endorsement for Hart Dairy, as we continue to grow and pioneer the 100% free-range, grass-fed movement for our cherished consumers.”

“We were very impressed with Hart Dairy’s exceptional operation, along with their ability to recognize and fill this significant gap in the dairy market,” says Jason Rich, director of Alium. “We were also attracted by the team’s ability to scale quickly, and most importantly, they have the expert management team in place to execute appropriately to achieve success in this category.”

Hart Dairy is also said to be the first pasteurized U.S. dairy cow operation to earn the Certified Humane designation from Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), Middleburg, Va.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by HFAC and proud to have the Certified Humane label on our Hart Dairy milk bottles,” adds Connell. “Their seal of approval is a testament to our passion to ensure a healthy living environment for our cows, as they graze free-range on green grass pastures 365 days a year. We truly believe the happiest cows produce the most pure, delicious milk for our customers.”

“We have seen Hart Dairy’s commitment to the animal welfare of their cows. Their own Grass 365 program is in total accord with the Certified Humane standards, and ensures the Hart Dairy cows have their emotional and physical needs met every day and are able to express natural behaviors throughout their lives,” says Mimi Stein, HFAC executive director.