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Mike Knowles



Total Produce invests in California

Company secures deal for eventual majority share in Eco Farms, a key supplier of avocados, citrus and exotics

Total Produce invests in California

Eco Farms owns over 700 acres of avocado and citrus groves throughout California

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Multinational fresh produce marketer Total Produce has made a significant investment in the North American fresh produce business with the acquisition of a 45 per cent interest in Eco Farms, a grower, marketer and distributor based in Temecula, California.

Found in 1972, Eco Farms is primarily an avocado producer, but also grows and markets citrus as well as a range of exotics including cherimoya, dragon fruit, kumquats, kiwifruit and Asian pears.

Dublin-based Total Produce revealed the purchase at the same time as annoucing strong half-year results for 2014, confirming that it had the option of acquiring further shares in Eco Farms in due course to give it a majority stake.

The move continues Total Produce’s expansion in North America following its recent acquisition of shares in major importer-distributor Oppy. The Irish firm currently has a 35 per cent stake, but this is set to increase to 65 per cent in 2017, with the price per share dependent on Oppy’s financial performance.

Elsewhere, Total Produce confirmed that its principal acquisition during the first half of 2014 was the remaining shares in Netherlands-based soft fruit specialist All Seasons Fruit (ASF), in which it already had a 50 per cent holding.

That deal will be completed in three stages: an initial 20 per cent shareholding was acquired on completion of the deal on 28 May 2014, with the balance to be acquired in subsequent years.

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