ALAMEDA, CALIF. — Niman Ranch and its network of suppliers that produce naturally-raised meats completed a merger on Jan. 23 with an affiliate of its largest shareholder, Natural Food Holdings LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Natural Food Holdings now owns 100% of both Niman Ranch and affiliated specialty pork processor, Sioux-Preme Packing, which currently processes all of Niman Ranch’s pork, the company said in a statement.

"Our mission at Niman Ranch is to partner with U.S. family farmers and ranchers that raise livestock humanely and sustainably, and bring better-tasting, natural beef, pork, lamb and chicken to market," said Jeff Swain, Niman Ranch chief executive officer. "Consolidating our ownership under Natural Food Holdings will enable Niman Ranch to achieve certain operational synergies, be more efficient and ultimately better serve our customers nationwide."

The merger provides benefits on many fronts, Mr. Swain added. Customers will be able to buy with more confidence from a financially-secure supplier. The Niman Ranch network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers can continue to be paid a premium for upholding the strictest animal-raising protocols in the industry. And Niman Ranch employees will be working for a stronger, more sustainable company, during a time of economic uncertainty.

"Niman Ranch family farmers and ranchers are every bit as committed to raising animals humanely and sustainably today as in the past," said Jeff Tripician, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Niman Ranch. "As a result of this transaction, our company is now in a better position to continue to support their efforts."

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