Lotus Foods Announces Transformative Investment to Accelerate Shift to a more Regenerative Food System
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RICHMOND, Calif., July 10, 2024 ~ Lotus Foods, a renowned company known for its heirloom, organic and regenerative rice cultivation, has recently announced a significant investment of $22.5 million from Grounded Capital. This San Francisco-based investment firm focuses on deploying capital to support healthy social, ecological and financial systems.

The investment from Grounded Capital will allow Lotus Foods to expand its business by investing in various aspects of its value chain. This includes sourcing from new global rice cultivation communities and diversifying its customer base. As part of this investment, CEO Stephen Hohenrieder and Principal William Culler-Chase will also join Lotus Foods' Board of Directors. This marks a significant milestone for the company, which has achieved remarkable growth over the past three decades without substantial external investment.

Co-founders of Lotus Foods, Caryl Levine and Ken Lee, expressed their excitement about this partnership with Grounded Capital. They stated that when they founded the company in 1995, their goal was to create positive change in the industry by prioritizing the well-being of their farmer partners, consumers, and the world we live in. They believe that Grounded Capital shares these values and are proud to welcome them into the Lotus Foods family.

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Lotus Foods has been a leader in promoting organic rice farming practices since its inception. The company also supports rice biodiversity and resilience among farmers. In 2008, they introduced incentives for growing methods that help mitigate climate change and empower women through their regenerative methodology called System of Rice Intensification (SRI). This method focuses on building soil health and supporting root growth without requiring specialized seeds or agrochemicals. Additionally, SRI reduces methane emissions associated with rice cultivation by eliminating the need to keep rice paddies flooded.

Andrew Burke, CEO of Lotus Foods, expressed his excitement about finding a mission-aligned partner in Grounded Capital. He believes that together they can accelerate progress towards a more regenerative food system and combat the impact of climate change while supporting smallholder farmers and their communities.

Grounded Capital's CEO and Founder, Stephen Hohenrieder, also shared his enthusiasm for this partnership. He stated that Lotus Foods' mission-driven business model, coupled with their exceptional line of consumer products, makes them an ideal partner. Both companies believe in taking a systems-based, holistic approach to have a significant and positive impact on communities from soil to the consumer.

Rondout Partners LLC acted as the placement agent and exclusive financial advisor to Lotus Foods in connection with this transaction. With this investment from Grounded Capital, Lotus Foods is poised for further growth and success in promoting a more sustainable and equitable food system.
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