Start-Up Natural Food Company to Build Headquarters in Central Missouri
Moberly Natural Crush Purchases Plant, Property
Begins Campaign for Phase 2 Equity Drive;
Qualifies for Missouri Producer Tax Credit
MOBERLY – A start-up natural food company called Moberly Natural Crush, LLC., (MNC) has purchased a seven-acre lot and assets in the northwest corner of Moberly’s industrial park.
The company will operate as a specialty soybean processor focused on the burgeoning demand for non-GMO and Organic food products. For several years, natural food products have been the fastest growing category in supermarket sales, and within natural foods, non-GMO products have seen the highest rate of growth.
“The expansion of natural foods makes this an extremely attractive opportunity,” said one of the company founders and CEO, Pat Conners. “Add into the equation the new soybean being launched by the Missouri Soybean Council (MSC) and the University, and you couldn’t ask for a better time and place to enter into this industry.”
Conners is referring to a new non-GMO soybean that has been developed with a High Oleic trait. Through a joint venture, the MSC and University own the rights to the soybean and have been harvesting foundation crops in recent years. They expect it to become commercially viable in the 2021-2022 timeframe.
Non-GMO soybean meal has been selling at a 20%-to-25% premium above conventional meal. High Oleic soybean oil has been selling at more than a 2-times premium above conventional oil.
“These premiums mean that Missouri’s non-GMO-High Oleic soybean farmers will be commanding the highest premiums in the country, and Moberly Natural Crush will be the marketplace that services this niche,” Conners said.
MNC has broken escrow and expects to complete its first round of funding in February. The company has also started selling subscriptions for its Phase Two equity drive in which it will raise $5 million in investment. The bulk of that will be used purchase the expeller-press equipment needed to process 96 tons a day. At that level, the company expects to be a $16-$20 million revenue company.
The goal, Conners said, is to be a farmer-controlled company, with the majority – if not all – of the investment funds coming from Missouri farmers. MNC has qualified for the New Generation Cooperative Incentive Tax Credits which allow Producer-Investors to achieve up to a 50% credit on a $30,000 investment.
The company has also received two grants from the Missouri Soybean Association to help with startup costs.
“The support we are receiving from the state and the Soybean Association and the University has been outstanding,” Conners said. “This is a true partnership, and a true win-win-win scenario for Missouri Farmers, the State and Moberly Natural Crush.”
The purchased assets include a 12,000 square-foot production building, 100,000-bushel grain bin, 800-ton meal bin, and a load-in-load-out station. These assets were originally built with the intention of processing conventional soybeans and feeding the oil to a neighboring biodiesel facility, but the facility was never made operational.
While Conners will manage day-to-day operations, the company will also be governed with the help of local farmers Jim Beckley and Scot Shively who sit on the Interim Board of Directors.
For more information, contact Pat Conners at 314-809-9499.