AMERRA creates specialty supply-chain company

Pipeline Foods will initially focus on helping established food companies create transparent supply chains for expanding organic and non-GMO offerings.

Agribusiness asset manager AMERRA Capital Management has teamed with Pipeline Opportunity Partners to create a company focused on providing sustainable supply chains in global agriculture, the firm announced Tuesday.

Pipeline Foods will be based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and initially focus on helping companies in the Americas expand supply chains for organic and non-GMO product offerings.

“There has been a steadily-growing demand for more professional supply chains by the organic and non-GMO world, especially for grains, oilseeds, and feed ingredients,” Pipeline chief executive Eric Jackson said in a statement. “This requires resources beyond the reach of small and mid-sized players and a different approach than the large incumbents.”

Through a network of handling and processing assets in both source and destination markets, the company will help food companies develop procurement strategies and control and certify supply chains from farm-gate to the end user.

According to Pipeline’s website, its approach will be informed by both environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and circular economy concepts. Pipeline eventually hopes to amass $250 million in institutional capital that will allow it to purchase more than 20 storage and milling assets and establish a network of certified farms as suppliers, the site states.

As established food companies move to keep pace with evolving consumer demands for healthier foods with more organic ingredients, investors and the companies they back are looking to expand and streamline existing supply chains.

“Our investment in Pipeline was driven by the growing consumer demand for specialty products, as well as the quality and integrity of the management team,” said AMERRA managing director Robert Hodgen in the statement.

AMERRA, which utilizes both debt and equity in its agricultural investments, is establishing Pipeline as part of its private equity strategy. The New York-based firm has more than $1.8 billion in assets under management and has completed more than 250 transactions since its founding in 2009.