UK – Nestlé has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Terrafertil, a company selling natural, organic, plant-based foods and healthy snacks, for an undisclosed sum.

According to the company, this move widens Nestlé’s presence in the fast-growing healthy food products category in Latin America, the United States and the United Kingdom, where the Ecuador-origin company sells its products.

Terrafertil, and its flagship brand ‘Nature’s Heart’, are recognized for the wide portfolio of natural and mostly organic products.

It is the world’s largest buyer of goldenberries (Physalis), an Andean superfood high in vitamins and antioxidants.

“We are excited to welcome Terrafertil and its employees to the Nestlé family. Its natural, organic and healthy products fully support Nestlé’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.

This investment allows us to strengthen our presence in fast-growing categories such as plant-based foods, beverages and healthy snacks, known as ‘superfoods’ due to their high natural nutrient content,” said Laurent Freixe, CEO of Nestlé Zone Americas.

Terrafertil was founded in 2005 in Ecuador by five entrepreneurs and is managed by three founding brothers, David, Raul and Daniel Bermeo.

It quickly expanded its presence in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and the United Kingdom, entering the United States with the purchase of Essential Living Foods in 2017.

Terrafertil has received international recognition for its positive social impact through its work with hundreds of small farmers, says Nestle.

The company employs 400 people and has four factories in Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

The transaction includes all of Terrafertil’s operations and assets in the seven countries where it operates.

“Terrafertil will continue to be managed by its founders. It will operate as a stand-alone entity, to leverage its unique corporate culture including entrepreneurial spirit, agility and flexibility,” added Freixe.

“Nestlé brings several benefits and synergies. Beyond expanding our presence and distribution around the world, we will capitalize on its experience in areas such as Research and Development, marketing knowledge, and operational efficiencies.

Above all, we share Nestlé´s commitment to society, to the communities where it operates and the environment”, said the Bermeo brothers, founding partners of Terrafertil.

Nestlé and Terrafertil will make the corresponding notifications to the antitrust authorities, within the legal terms and in accordance with the provisions of the regulations of each country, as applicable.