Danone Corporate Venture Arm Acquires Majority Stake in Harmless Harvest

66
Image courtesy of Danone.

New York, NY—Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV), the corporate venture arm of Danone, has acquired a majority stake in Harmless Harvest, makers of coconut-based products including coconut water and coconut yogurt, according to a press release.

In 2017, DMV led a $30m capital growth round in the company. With this additional investment, DMV has acquired majority ownership. It will provide financial, strategic, and operational support, while Harmless Harvest continues to operate independently.

“It has been a privilege to be part of the Harmless Harvest success story over the past few years, as the company has continued to grow, innovate, and pioneer more responsible business practices,” said Laurent Marcel, CEO of Danone Manifesto Ventures. “We are thrilled to further the partnership with a group of people who aim to be harmless to the planet and society and share our vision of a healthy and sustainable food system. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ben and his talented leadership team, and supporting their inspiring ambitions.”

The acquisition will provide Harmless Harvest with resources and operational capabilities to help propel its growth and sustainability initiatives, while supporting Danone’s global efforts to accelerate the growth of its plant-based business. Danone’s goal: To increase its plant-based sales worldwide to €5b by 2025.

Related: Danone Announces Latest Acquisition, 2020 FY Report
CCA Celebrates National Coconut Day by Giving Back to Farmers
Danone, Full Harvest Collaborate to Address Food Waste

Harmless Harvest expects to generate over $100m in sales in 2021, doubling its revenue from 2017. The company is Fair for Life Certified and committed to sustainable agriculture through its Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Project.

“Since I joined Harmless Harvest as CEO in 2018, we have taken significant steps to embrace the unique foundation established by the founders of the company, while accelerating growth and strengthening our supply chain all the way from Thailand to the U.S.,” said Ben Mand, Harmless Harvest CEO. “Importantly, we’ve been doing this while consistently striving to protect the environment, do less harm and share the wealth in everything we do. We appreciate the support and guidance we have received from DMV and Danone over the past few years and look forward to continuing to benefit from their expertise and resources as we join forces with our shared mission of driving a sustainable future.”

Harmless Harvest Co-Founders and Chairpersons Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud added: “This is an exciting next step for Harmless Harvest—a testament to the entire team’s hard work and commitment to our mission in the U.S. and Thailand. It opens the door to an amplified and expanded collaboration between two like-minded groups of people willing to promote and deliver on the principles of constructive capitalism that define the company. DMV has played a critical role in Harmless Harvest’s success since 2017, not simply from a capital perspective, but most importantly in an outstanding operational and strategic capacity. We are thrilled to continue in our founder and board member roles to support this partnership and remain very confident in the future potential for Harmless Harvest.”