Riveridge Produce Marketing out of Sparta said last week it acquired the “sales operation” of Jack Brown Produce- also based in Sparta. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but this large supplier of apples clearly expects to grow its market share in the state.
Jack Brown Produce, which is a grower-owned business with a board and shareholders, made the decision to affirm the deal. John Schaefer, its president, said: “Both Jack Brown Produce and Riveridge Produce have complementary grower communities making this union a natural fit.”
Riveridge did not acquire the packaging facility, which employs the majority of Jack Brown’s employees. One employee, a sales manager, transferred to Riveridge.
Schaefer will remain at the helm of Jack Brown Produce’s packing facility. “We each have modern packing facilities and growers invested in the future, utilizing the latest growing techniques and moving forward on the varieties and strains that support today’s consumer preferences.”
Grbj.com reports that on average, a Riveridge sells 37 percent of the fresh Michigan apple crop, according to a company spokesperson. With the acquisition, Riveridge expects to sell more than 50 percent of the state’s fresh apple crop.