Frutura planning further acquisitions as it aims to "build something uniquely different"
The founding CEO of Frutura, a newly formed organization that last week announced the purchase of two major fresh produce companies, has revealed details about how the company came to be and its future plans.
David Krause explained that the recent acquisitions of the majority ownership of California-based Dayka & Hackett and Peru-based Agrícola Don Ricardo are the initial part of Frutura's strategy to "present and build something uniquely different".
The company plans to take multiple production bases and link them together in one global platform with the aim of sharing efficiencies and better serving customers, he said.
"Frutura is sort of a combination brainchild of Lloys Frates and myself," he told FreshFruitPortal.com, adding that Frates is the chair of the Frutura board.
"The two of us got together and had this vision for what would be an aggregation of supply in a fragmented counter-seasonal supply base from Latin America into the U.S. market."
"We thought that there was a real opportunity to present and build something uniquely different by linking several different businesses together in one common platform and therefore being able to supply 365 days a year products in high demand to our customers, primarily focused in North America but also trading globally such as in European and Asia-Pacific rim."
Frutura is owned by RRG Capital Management, a Los Angeles-headquartered asset management firm focused on sustainable agriculture. Krause and Frates, who had been discussing plans for the sales and marketing network for over a year, began with a placeholder organization "to get the ball rolling and begin our acquisition process" before trademarking the company's name in March.
Krause, who most recently spent two decades as president of The Wonderful Company’s citrus operation, said that Frutura is different from most fresh produce organizations in the way that it operates and could be thought of as a "company for the moment", with a strong focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) activities.
"We are a very small team at the top because we are buying operating businesses that have excellent management teams with very high quality. Those teams are going to stay on to run those business units," he said.
"Our intent is to keep the secret sauce of each of these businesses and their teams but to create linkage in a different way. I see that as a real opportunity to have smaller suppliers be able to come together and share efficiencies and to better serve customers in the marketplace."
He said that these first two acquisitions will be the building blocks for further growth, with other targets in the team's sights.
"I think our focus will be LATAM-based countries and counter-seasonals, so I would expect we'll have a Chilean business unit at some point in the future and perhaps other countries in that region," said Krause.
He added that Dayka & Hackett and Agrícola Don Ricardo already have significant customer bases Frutura wants to continue to serve and expand upon.
"We are hopeful to grow them quite aggressively and be able to do that in a way that may trigger the need to explore new additional customers in different regions but not change to the existing supply base. They've got great customers already and want to continue to build those relationships," he said.
While the companies both offer a large range of products, they are strongest in table grapes. Krause said it was a strategic decision for Frutura to begin with its biggest single position in that category.
"We will have one of the largest portfolios of proprietary table grapes in the globe. That comes from and is informed by Lloys, who was formerly involved in the Sun World business in California," he said.
Krause is hopeful that a further acquisition will be announced in the coming months.
"We have a very aggressive growth plan in two ways - we want to grow in regions that we're supplying from and products in the basket of offerings," he said.