Pipeline Foods expands footprint in North America

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — Pipeline Foods L.L.C., a U.S.-based supply chain solutions company focused exclusively on non-G.M.O. and organic food and feed, acquired a grain elevator in Lignite, N.D., from Cenex Harvest States (CHS). The transaction marks Pipeline Foods’ third grain elevator purchase in the past month as the company continues to grow its footprint in North America.

Eric Jackson, c.e.o. of Pipeline Foods

“At Pipeline Foods, our vision is to build a more sustainable supply chain in agriculture,” said Eric Jackson, chief executive officer of Pipeline Foods. “This investment in North Dakota infrastructure, accompanied by our recent grain elevator acquisitions in Saskatchewan, will provide the first primary collection point for organic grain, and the capability to connect this grain supply with food companies and manufacturers across the U.S.”

Located in northwestern North Dakota, the Lignite elevator is a 3,500-tonne facility with dual access to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian Pacific railways. Pipeline Foods said the Lignite elevator will supplement its storage and origination program in Saskatchewan, which is expected to increase efficiency and allow Pipeline Foods to grow its volume and customer base in the region. Forecasted throughput for 2018 is 25,000 tonnes, with increasing capacity expected after initial capital investments are made, Pipeline Foods said.

Pipeline Foods said CHS has been operating the Lignite facility to handle malting barley.

“We are pleased that Pipeline Foods can continue to benefit the Lignite community with the purchase of this facility,” said Brad Haugeberg, general manager at CHS SunPrairie.

Dan Folske, North Dakota State University extension agent for Burke County, added that the purchase is exciting for several reasons.

“The elevator at Lignite is an old facility that is too small and inefficient for conventional crops in today’s market, and most similar elevators have already been closed and torn down,” Mr. Folske said. “Transitioning that facility to handling organic grains should mean that it has a viable future for years to come, with corresponding jobs and property taxes for the city of Lignite and Burke County.”

In September, Pipeline Foods detailed its commitment to investing $300 million to $500 million over the next three to five years to build a better, more sustainable supply chain in agriculture. In addition to Lignite, Pipeline Foods in mid-September acquired a 3,500-tonne grain elevator in Wapella, Sask., and a 4,000-tonne facility in Gull Lake, Sask. Pipeline Foods said it is actively buying all classes of organic wheat, pulses and oats. 
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