WOBURN, MASS. – Verde Farms, a purveyor of grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic beef, announced the addition of Nick Meriggioli, chief executive officer of Johnsonville, to the company’s board of directors.
He joins Dana Ehrlich, Verde founder and CEO, co-founder Pablo Garbarino, and Brent Drever, Manna Tree Partners’ co-founder and COO. A fifth at-large board member will be added later, Verde Farms said.
“I admire Verde's passion for producing great-tasting, healthy and sustainable meats,” Meriggioli said. “I look forward to partnering with Dana, Pablo and Brent, sharing my experience to support the acceleration of Verde's brand and product portfolio growth.”
Meriggioli has been CEO of Johnsonville since 2015, and he brings more than 20 years of experience in consumer packaged goods (CPG) from working at Kraft Foods in executive and senior marketing positions. Meriggioli led the Oscar Mayer business unit, including well-known brands like Lunchables, Claussen Pickles and Boca Meat Alternatives. His team is credited with the launch of Oscar Mayer Selects, a better-for-you portfolio featuring no artificial preservatives.
“In addition to Nick’s CPG expertise and career successes, he was known to foster a people-first culture in his leadership roles, a focus that aligns well with our brand approach,” Ehrlich said. “Exceptional customer service and consumer experience have been a priority for the Verde team since day one, and our partner relationships are a testament to that.”
New distribution partners for the company throughout Q2 and Q3 include Costco, Sam’s Club, Albertsons and Ahold. Verde expanded its processing capabilities at Mullica Hill to include a second production line, and the company also showcased its innovation leadership with its new Simply! sous vide product line.
Verde Farms said the company has had “an extraordinary growth year” that includes a $15 million minority investment from Manna Tree Partners and a 31% increase in year-over-year sales, Verde Farms’ largest to date, the company said.
Most recently, Verde also secured new funding from minority investors including Johnsonville Holdings and Alex Biega, a professional hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings. The company also completed its Series A funding bringing total investment to date to $25 million.