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Nurture Foods makes maiden investment

Anna Lyudvig
Nov. 12, 2021, 2:11 p.m.
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Word count: 417

Nurture Foods, EXEO Capital’s new food sector investment vehicle, has recently made its first investment in the Fairview Cheese Company, a South African cheese producer.

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Nurture Foods, EXEO Capital’s new food sector investment vehicle, has recently made its first investment in the Fairview Cheese Company, a South African cheese producer.

Nurture Foods was established by EXEO Capital through its Food and Agribusiness fund, Agri-Vie Fund II, as a vehicle to drive longer-term investing in the growing convenience & functional food sector.

“Nurture Foods was formally launched as vehicle June 2021 and has been in the making since July 2020,” Riël Malan (pictured), Executive Chairman of Nurture Foods and Partner at EXEO Capital, told Africa Global Funds.

The Fairview Cheese Company was established in Paarl in 1980 by the Back family. 

Over the course of the last 40 years, Fairview Cheese established itself as the leading artisanal cheese producer in South Africa, producing more than 50 cow’s and goat’s milk cheese varieties. 

The Back family retains a significant stake in the business.

Louis Lourens, Managing Director of The Fairview Cheese Company says: “The partnership with Nurture Foods will enable Fairview Cheese to expand its artisanal offer and develop valuable new export markets. We are very excited to take Fairview Cheese to a wider international market.”

Malan said that a strong brand like Fairview sets the tone and lays the foundation for the establishment of Nurture Foods as a very focussed investment platform that provides investors exposure to the defensive convenience and functional food sector. 

“We are also excited that the transaction will enable the empowerment of Fairview Workers Trust to benefit from the anticipated growth of the brand, through the establishment of a goat milk supply company, owned by the workers of Fairview,” he said.

“Globally, the trend towards greater convenience, functional effects of food and consumer support of artisanal and ethical brands, is gaining momentum. Nurture Foods aims to partner with artisanal brands such as Fairview to achieve greater market penetration, efficiency through technology application and generally to support the platform businesses in growing a larger domestic and export market,” he added.

Using EXEO’s 13 years’ investment experience in the food sector in Sub-Sahara Africa, Nurture Foods will be partnering with seasoned food-entrepreneurs to build a platform of synergistic businesses that will grow and develop this highly differentiated sub-sector.

When asked about investment opportunities, Malan said that the vehicle will invest “mainly South Africa” and make “selected investments in sub-Sahara Africa if it first the strategy of convenience & functional foods”.

“We’re planning 12-15 similar investment over coming years,” he added.

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