Shenandoah Valley Organic will use the proceeds from the funding round to invest in latest machinery and to improve its brand outreach across the US
Virginia-based meat company Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) has raised $15m in the latest funding round that was led by NRV and had seen participation from Open Prairie along with existing investors including S2G Ventures and Middleland Capital’s VTC Innovation Fund.
Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) was established in 2014 by CEO Corwin Heatwole. The company sells under the brand ‘Farmer Focus’, which is claimed to be a values-driven organic meat brand offering traceability.
SVO lets farmers retain ownership on the way the poultry is raised
Shenandoah Valley Organic under the leadership of Heatwole, who happens to be a sixth-generation farmer, is claimed to have created sustainable partnership with family farms, allowing farmers to retain ownership and increase their profitability while also offering traceable, organic meat.
SVO uses a coding system to identify and trace chicken to the particular farm it grew up on. The company claims that this step bridges customers and farmers.
Heatwole said: “We are pleased to add investors and advisors to the SVO team who share in our vision and mission and offer deep expertise across the retail and supply chain.
“This investment will enable SVO to continue expanding our retail footprint and Farmer Focus brand offerings.”
Shenandoah Valley Organic aims to use the proceeds from the funding round to invest in plant modernisation to increase production volumes and also to expand its marketing and brand outreach with a focus on increasing product sales across grocery stores and retail locations across the US.
NRV is a Richmond, Virginia-based venture capital firm that invests in early stage, high growth companies.
NRV managing director Laura Markley said: “Shenandoah Valley Organic is an incredible growth story out of Harrisonburg, VA, and NRV is excited to be part of their future as they continue to expand the Farmer Focus organic meat brand.
“Their best-in-class traceability links products on the shelf back to the specific family farm that sourced them, providing transparency along with a high-quality, clean-label, organic product.”
Open Prairie invested in SVO under its Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, a growth-stage private equity fund aimed to provide capital to agribusinesses across rural America.
Open Prairie partner Jason Wrone said: “SVO truly embodies the spirit of rural America and is well positioned for explosive growth. The Farmer Focus brand personifies the company’s emphasis on developing and maintaining strong relationships with its growers and preserving smaller, independent family farms while also implementing innovative technologies to produce high-quality products for today’s health and environmentally-conscious consumers.”