Since 2009, country-of-origin labels on packages of beef, pork, chicken and other kinds of meat have been mandatory. They are supposed to list where a harvested animal was born, raised, and slaughtered.

Fundings in Brief: Pension Fund Commitments and Food E-commerce Deals

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Private equity-owned Costa Group raises A$550m at IPO

Costa Group, the Australian fruit and vegetable producer and marketer, has raised $550 million ($402 million) after selling 245 million shares for A$225 a share. This was at the lower end of its price range and makes private equity firm Paine & Partners the company’s largest shareholder with a 12 percent stake. The PE firm initially invested in Costa Group in 2011 through its Fund III and has helped oversee the growth of Costa Group from redirecting resources into competitive produce to increased investment in indoor agriculture to leading Costa’s acquisition of Adelaide Mushrooms.

MCERA makes first commitment to agriculture

Merced County Employee Retirement Association (MCERA) Board of Retirement has committed $7.5 million to vertical integration-focused farmland fund manager Blue Road Capital. The pension fund uses investment consulting firm SIS (Strategic Investment Solutions) for natural resources allocations.

Opinio raises $1.6m from Accel Partners

High-speed food delivery service Opinio has secured $1.6 million from Accel Partners towards its Series A round. The Bangalore-based company claims to complete roughly 1,000 delivery orders each day for over 100 restaurants and grocers using technology that stores customers’ geo-coordinates and an algorithm that maximizes delivery staff’s efficiency. In April 2015, the company obtained seed funding from Accel and incubator Tracxn Labs. The round follows a wave of investment into grocery delivery, according to VCCircle.

Stake in Dutch seed tech company up for sale

ABN Amro Participates (AAP) is selling its stake in Dutch seed tech developer and genetic crop analysis company Incotec and has hired Rabobank to handle the sale. AAP has held a minority stake in Incotec since completing a buyout from Bencis, a private equity firm. The company’s intellectual in agrochemicals makes it a potential target for acquisition by Monsanto and Syngenta.

Village Capital raises $13.2m fund

The entrepreneur community and accelerator has raised $13.2m to invest in companies selected after its accelerator programmes. One third of the funds are dedicated to peer-selected program graduates while two thirds is dedicated to follow on investments in the current portfolio. Fund investors included AOL co-founder Steve Case and the Kapor Center for Social Impact. The fund will invest into education, energy and agriculture ventures based on scores given to them by their peers during the accelerator process.

Federal legislators propose voluntary COOL labeling

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced a bill on Thursday that would eliminate provisions from the mandatory country-of-origin labeling program (COOL) and replace them with a voluntary labeling program. Currently, COOL requires producers of food items like beef, pork, chicken, lamb, ground meat, and certain nuts produced in the U.S. to bear a label reflecting the product’s origin. So far, a number of members from the Senate Agriculture Committee have expressed their support for the bill.


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