USA – Hart Dairy, the American free-range milk company has closed a US$10 million seed funding round led by Sydney-based investment firm Alium Capital.

The investment will help expand its production capabilities as well as drive innovation in 100% free-range, grass-fed milk products range.

The company said it is targeting growth in America and Asia as it seeks to become a leader in premium “Grass 365” dairy products, including fresh milk, yogurt, cheese and butter varieties.

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Hart Dairy sits on more than 4,000 acres of pristine farmland and claims to be the largest single-source producer of 100% free-range, grass-fed milk in North America.

It has more than 3,500 cows that roam free and are grass-fed all-year round in a certified, non-GMO environment.

“We were very impressed with Hart Dairy’s exceptional operation, along with their ability to recognize and fill this significant gap in the dairy market,” said Alium Director Jason Rich.

“We were also attracted by the team’s ability to scale quickly and, most importantly, they have the expert management team in place to execute appropriately to achieve success in this category.”

The firm combines animal welfare and better-for-you dairy products with truly free-range, grass-fed cows.

Last year, it was named the first pasteurized U.S. dairy cow operation to earn the Certified Humane designation from Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC).

Certified Humane program requires farmers to adhere to HFAC’s Animal Care Standards and undergo third-party inspections to confirm compliance to be certain they are fed nutritious diets without antibiotics, growth promoters and animal by-products; and receive proper shelter, resting areas and sufficient space to support natural behaviours.

“This significant influx of new capital is a clear validation of how we see free-range, grass-fed milk emerging in America,” said Tim Connell, Hart Dairy CEO.

“With consumers’ paradigm shift toward better-for-you products and our recent Certified Humane certification for the farms we care for most, we believe we are on the right trajectory.

“Having a world-class organisation such as Alium Capital in our corner is a huge endorsement for Hart Dairy as we continue to grow and pioneer the 100% free-range, grass-fed movement for our cherished consumers.”