[REPORT] United States organic farms achieved $5.5 billion in sales
Momentum has been building in the organics industry for quite some time, and the numbers continue to confidently reflect that growth. The most recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows enormous leaps for organic farmers. According to new data, sales from United States organic farms clocked in a t $5.5 billion last year, representing a 72 percent increase since 2008.
This growth in sales is tied directly to a growth in consumer demand for a wider range of simpler, less processed, and more organically produced food and beverage products. As this becomes a more mainstream interest, producers and retailers alike have started catering to this growing consumer demographic—Reuters points out that sales at natural and organic retailers overall increased by nine percent in the last year, and this summer warehouse chain Costco edged out the more niche Whole Foods Market as the top seller of organic products in the United States.
As the report states, organic milk came out on top as the most in-demand domestically-produced organic product accounting for $1.1 billion of sales; free-range organic eggs were a distant second with $420 million in sales. But the USDA asserts that sales are up across the board from organic produce to organic meats.
But while consumer demand is increasing, but the USDA also reports that the number of organic farms in the United States has actually decreased by three percent. In 2008 the USDA counted 14,540 organic farms in operation in the U.S.—today the USDA counted 14,093.
The USDA offers several explanations for this: different methods for surveying have come into use over the years, and farms making $5,000 or less from sales are exempt from the need for organic certification. The department also states that the amount of larger organic farms in the U.S. has increased 15 percent to 12,634 since 2008, with both smaller farms becoming certified and larger corporations bringing organic production into their branding portfolios.
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Still, total U.S. organic sales reached $35.9 billion in 2014, suggesting that a significant portion of the U.S. organics market share comes from produce that has been imported from elsewhere. As U.S. organic farms continue to grow alongside demand, everyone from small independent businesses to major brands has a chance to make a larger part of that percentage their own.
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Dell to sell cloud-based iPaaS Boomi in US$4bn deal
Global investment firm Francisco Partners and private equity platform TPG Capital have entered into an agreement with Dell Technologies to acquire cloud-based integration platform as a service provider Boomi in a cash deal valued at US$4bn. The deal is expected to complete this year.
“Boomi has flourished as part of Dell Technologies, growing exponentially since we acquired them in 2010. This proposed transaction positions Boomi for its next phase of growth and is the right move for both companies, our shared customers and partners,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Dell Technologies.
“For us, we're focused on fuelling growth by continuing to modernise our core infrastructure and PC businesses and expanding in high-priority areas including hybrid and private cloud, edge, telecom and APEX. All designed to help organisations thrive in the do-from-anywhere economy.”
Dell’s Boomi sell-off follows VMware spin-off
This announcement comes just two weeks after Dell said it would spin-off its 81% equity ownership of VMware to form two standalone companies. This would result in an expected US$9.3bn cash dividend payment to Dell, which says it will use those funds to pay down debt.
When Dell acquired Boomi in 2010 for an undisclosed fee, Boomi offered the industry’s only pure SaaS application integration platform, powered by its revolutionary AtomSphere technology. Dell saw Boomi as addressing one of the top barriers to cloud adoption at that time, which was managing and integrating cloud-based applications with existing applications and databases.
Now, Boomi has more than 15,000 customers globally and is still seen as a leader when it comes to organisations connecting applications, processes and people across a range of locations and devices – a process that can take weeks rather than months.
“I am incredibly proud that through innovation, passion and relentless execution, the Boomi team has created a unified platform for the modern-day hybrid IT landscape that thousands of customers worldwide depend on to digitally transform their business,” said Chris McNabb, chief executive officer of Boomi.
“By partnering with two tier-one investment firms like Francisco Partners and TPG, we can accelerate our ability for our customers to use data to drive competitive advantage. In this next phase of growth, Boomi will be in a position of strength to further advance our innovation and market trajectory while delivering even more value to our customers.”
Francisco Partners has invested in more than 300 technology companies since its launch 20 years ago and has more than US$25bn in assets under management.
“The ability to integrate and connect data and workflows across any combination of applications or domains is a critical business capability, and we strongly believe that Boomi is well positioned to help companies of all sizes turn data into their most valuable asset,” said Dipanjan Deb, co-founder and chief executive officer, and Brian Decker, partner, at Francisco Partners
Nehal Raj, partner, and Art Heidrich, principal, at TPG Capital added: “The need for automation and data integration across applications has never been greater. Boomi's cloud-native platform enables enterprises to streamline business processes and is essential for driving digital transformation.”