Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fund is a $150MM growth equity fund that invests along the entire agriculture and food industry value chain. The fund focuses on companies that have suffered a significant disruption to their business model.
Forage’s experienced investors have spent the last 20 years investing in:
The Forage team can work with management to stabilize their business and set new growth priorities that capitalize on the innovative opportunities that will emerge as the Canadian economy recovers and prospers.
Ostara Secures US$70M in Funding to Scale North American Production of the Most Efficient, Plant Available, Waterway Friendly, Phosphate Fertilizer
Technology Company’s Phosphate Fertilizer Proven to be Plant Available All Season, Maximizing Crop Yield and Quality, Decreasing Climate Impacts, and Significantly Eliminating Contamination of Waterways
ST. LOUIS, MO (Oct. 28, 2022) – Ostara™ today announced it has raised US$70 million in Series C funding to increase production of its Crystal Green® line of highly efficient, plant-available, granular phosphate fertilizers for agriculture, specialty, and turf markets. Ostara will use the funding to complete construction of its St. Louis manufacturing facility, which will produce and ship this unique fertilizer to more North American farmers who are looking to maximize yield, embrace sustainability, reduce applied phosphate rates per acre and decrease costs. The Series C funding includes multiple new investors, including Carica Sustainable Investments, as well as existing investors Forage Capital Partners, the Cibus Funds, and Grosvenor Food and AgTech.
The announcement comes at a time when farmers, consumers, Ag retailers, and regulators are searching with growing urgency for solutions that drive yield and improve farm economics, while protecting global natural resources and increasing the resiliency of North America’s fertilizer supply chain.
“Growers are looking for more tools that increase the efficiency of applied nutrients, and reduce their required application rates, operational hassles, and environmental impacts. As a result, more and more growers and retailers are turning to Crystal Green’s innovative, highly efficient, phosphate fertilizers,” said Kerry Cebul, chief executive officer of Ostara. “Ostara is excited to rapidly increase our North American manufacturing base, enabling us to serve more U.S. and Canadian farmers.”
Ostara’s soon to be commissioned Crystal Green® manufacturing plant is strategically located in St. Louis, in the heart of midwestern agriculture. Once complete, the facility will produce 200,000 tons per year, providing product in time for the 2024 growing season, as well as dozens of new jobs to the St. Louis region. The facility represents a major step forward in the production of the next generation of highly efficient, plant-available, sustainable phosphate products.
“Phosphates are critical to the production of all crops, yet we know traditional fertilizers are inefficient, increasing their impact on climate and water. Ostara’s proven, innovative technology brings new, efficient phosphate tools to the farm-gate, which enable growers to produce great crops and protect our waterways by limiting runoff,” said Ham James, managing partner at Carica Sustainable Investments, a new investor in Ostara.
“The world’s agriculture market is facing unprecedented times,” said Jim Taylor, managing partner at Forage Capital. “From shortages in food production, to rising energy prices and significant declines in fertilizer availability, there has never been a greater need for ultra-efficient, sustainable fertilizers like Ostara’s. The Company not only has the ability to continue to scale world-class manufacturing capacity that can help farmers produce crops, reduce phosphates in waterways, and reduce greenhouse gasses, but it can also do so at a pace and size that will help address the challenges facing global fertilizer supply.”
Ostara’s Crystal Green® fertilizers are the first highly efficient phosphate fertilizers to release nutrients in response to plant demand. Crystal Green fertilizers are proven to increase yields, enhance soil health and significantly reduce phosphate tie-up, runoff and leaching, thereby improving food security while protecting local waterways. Crystal Green® fertilizers play a key role in the agriculture and turf & ornamental sectors through a network of established retailers and distributors in North America and Europe. To learn more about Ostara’s revolutionary technologies and fertilizer portfolio, please visit ostara.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Carica Sustainable Investments
Carica is a family office investment fund that invests in businesses that drive positive environmental and economic outcomes. We provide growth capital to help scale sustainable companies with proven business models. We realize this vision by partnering with entrepreneurs, business leaders, and companies addressing climate challenges by improving the way the world does business.
About Forage Capital Partners
Forage Capital Partners is Canada’s most experienced team of Ag & Food investors, having managed over $500 million in commitments to the industry over the last 18 years. Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fund works to provide its portfolio companies with the stability and flexibility they need to expand and adapt their business models during these challenging times. The fund will invest with creative business owners that are looking to capitalize on new and innovative opportunities that will emerge as the Canadian economy recovers and prospers. For more information on Forage Capital Partners, visit www.foragecapitalpartners.com.
New investment propels Bushel Plus's mission to bring more products and innovation to optimize harvest efficiency and improve farmers' profitability.
BRANDON, MAN. (Oct. 25, 2022) New investment in Bushel Plus, a leading agriculture technology company that manufactures harvest efficiency products, is fueling the company’s strategic direction to provide farmers with more innovative technology, products, services and systems to minimize yield loss at harvest time.
The injection of investment dollars will benefit growers and dealers by increasing the scope and pace of new product innovations and development, allowing more research to be done in different geographic locations and on different crops, and giving farmers and retailers more access to a broader range of products designed to increase harvest efficiency, minimize harvest loss, and maximize profitability. It will also lead to more employment opportunities and community engagement with the hiring of more sales, service and technical staff.
Marcel Kringe, founder and chief executive officer of Bushel Plus, explains that this adds up to more value for farmers and dealers across North America.
“We will continue to innovate and build on the success of the Bushel Plus Drop Pan System for measuring yield loss out the back of the combine, and advance development of new products that improve farmers’ harvest efficiency and returns. We will expand our research and demonstration trials so farmers and dealers can have confidence in the performance of our products. And an expanded technical sales and service team will provide more expertise and advice regarding how to get the most out of harvest.”
Jim Taylor, managing director and founder of Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fund, an equity fund that invests along the entire agriculture and food industry value chain, agrees.
“Agriculture plays a critical role to boost economic sustainability and growth. We’re excited by the potential we see in Bushel Plus, a company that is forward-thinking, farmer-focused and leading the way in agricultural technology and innovation. Improving harvest efficiency means more crop in the bin, which ultimately means greater global food production and that’s now more important than ever,” says Taylor.
Headquartered in Brandon, Manitoba, Bushel Plus distributes products in Canada, U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Australia and South America. Its product line includes a patented Drop Pan harvest loss system featuring an air separator, digital field scale and mobile app, grain shaker boxes, fledbags, and most recently, concaves through its acquisition of MAD Concaves.
For more information, contact:
CEO, Bushel Plus
phone: +1 204 402-0666
Funding round led by Forage Capital Partners, includes Farm Credit Canada and BDC
July 14, 2022, OTTAWA—Fieldless Farms, a modern food and Controlled Environment Agriculture company that launched in 2019, announced a Series A round raising $17.5 million in equity and debt to expand operations at its Cornwall facility by 10 times. The expansion will help Fieldless better meet demand for its cut lettuce mixes, and introduce new products to displace imports with local and more
sustainable options in high-volume grocery categories.
“Since launching across the Farm Boy chain in 2019 we’ve been propelled by the enthusiasm for our products. Canadians are hungry for better options and we can’t keep shelves stocked,” said Fieldless CEO, Jon Lomow. “Fieldless is directly addressing long, complicated and mostly foreign supply chains by offering products that are local and more sustainable, but most of all, that people fall in love with.”
The financing round was led by Canada’s most experienced Ag & Food fund, Forage Capital Partners and includes Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs.
“We really like Fieldless’ approach and what the company has been quietly and cost effectively building here in Canada,” said Jim Taylor, CEO of Forage Capital Partners. “We think the company is well positioned in the current economic climate for steady and significant growth.”
BDC participated equally in the debt portion of the fundraise with FCC.
"BDC is thrilled to be working hand-in-hand with FCC to support Fieldless with its expansion plans. A greener future is on the horizon, when we invest side-by-side in projects that are essential for Canada's food sovereignty," said Kunle Tauhid, BDC's Vice President for Eastern and Northern Ontario.
The company’s first farm in Cornwall, Ontario, launched in 2019. The operation grows no-need-to-wash leafy greens using highly-controlled environments, renewable energy, and without herbicides or pesticides. Shortly after launching, Fieldless Ontario Sweets and Northern Crunch lettuce mixes obtained listing across Ontario in the rapidly expanding grocer, Farm Boy, in addition to a handful of independent grocers.
“In Canada we import around $60 billion worth of food each year and happen to have the largest trade deficit in the world for lettuce. We rely on other nations to feed us, and it’s risky and unsustainable,” said Fieldless Farms CEO Jon Lomow. “We’re building Fieldless to address that massive opportunity—the need to locally produce food that is safer, secure, and more sustainable, 365 days a year.
Fieldless is a modern food company focused on solving food sovereignty and sustainability, based out of Ottawa and Cornwall, Ontario. The company launched in 2019 to displace foreign products and complex supply chains with safer, secure, more sustainable foods that people fall in love with. Fieldless products can currently be found in Farm Boy and independent retailers across Ontario. Visit fieldless.com.
About Forage Capital Partners
Forage Capital Partners is Canada’s most experienced team of Ag & Food investors, having managed over $500 million in commitments to the industry over the last 18 years. Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fund works to provide its portfolio companies with the stability and flexibility they need to expand and adapt their business models during these challenging times. The fund will invest with creative business owners that are looking to capitalize on new and innovative opportunities that will emerge as the Canadian economy prospers. For more information on Forage Capital Partners, visit foragecapitalpartners.com.
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