There’s only one thing happening faster than the growth of the organic food industry these days: the rate at which massive pro-GMO corporations are buying up organic food companies.
That trend continued recently as Coca Cola, the iconic sugary beverage company based in Atlanta, GA, and Goldman Sachs announced the purchase of one of the U.S.’ fastest-growing organic companies, a cold-pressed organic juice maker that was able to remain independent yet still land its products in big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger and others.
As more and more dominoes begin to fall the organic industry’s top companies are slowly being taken over by big corporations that spend millions against GMO labeling: Dave’s Killer Bread was bought out by Flower Foods (owners of Wonderbread), Annie’s Homegrown was bought out by General Mills, and several other similar stories have unfolded.
Now the aforementioned organic juice company, Suja Life, has sold a major stake of its operations to a company that has given over $1 million to stop GMO labeling each time it has come to ballot in the United States.
Coca Cola Shows Suja the Money
Ponying up a cool $90 million, Coca Cola has reportedly bought a stake in Suja that amounts to 30% of the company. That makes Coca Cola the top owner of the company percentage-wise.
The deal comes as little surprise to many who have been following the news, although the percentage of the stake is still far lower than other recent organic company purchases.
However, another 20% of the organic juice maker is also being bought out by Goldman Sachs, the infamous banking conglomerate based in New York City. Goldman Sachs paid about $60 million for the stake in Suja, a drop in the bucket compared to its monumental earnings.
In total, Coca Cola now has a 30% stake, the four founders of Suja 25%, Goldman Sachs 20% and Boulder brands Inc. 5%. Other investors including Leonardo DiCaprio and Sofia Vergara make up an additional 20%.
The news is likely to come as a major disappointment to fans of Suja, which has been one of the most trustworthy independent organic brands on the market. The company has also been an advertiser on the Food Babe website, one of the top GMO Free and organic promoting sites on the net.
The Future of Suja
Suja already has done an amazing job of bringing organic and cold-pressed ready made juices to the masses where other companies have failed. Most people don’t have any other options, other than to make their own at home of course.
Now, they have a few decisions to make.
Co-founder of Suja, Jeff Church said the deal was done in order to provide the company with “distribution and greater leverage from a cost standpoint” according to a recent interview.
But with Coca Cola’s history of spending big bucks to stop mandatory GMO labeling, a right afforded to citizens of over 60 countries, it’s fair to wonder whether Suja will ever be the same again.
Not only does Coca Cola has the biggest stake in the company now on paper, they’ve also used a similar plan to gobble up total control of both Zico Coconut Water and Honest Tea, two favorites of people who care about organic food and healthy living.
As always, the final say lies with the customers: let your dollars do the talking and everything will work itself out.