On September 5, 2019, Cooks Venture—a next generation ag-tech company committed to regenerative agriculture and transparent supply chains—announced the closing of $12 million in senior secured financing provided by AMERRA Capital Management, LLC, a private, alternative asset management firm with a focus in agribusiness and aquaculture operating companies.
“We strongly support Cooks Venture and its dedication to improving the agriculture ecosystem through scientifically proven regenerative practices and innovation,” said Chris Chapman, Managing Director at AMERRA. “Matthew’s impressive background in the food and technology industries, combined with his drive to create lasting change in the agriculture space, will surely solidify Cooks Venture as a household name.”
Cooks Venture is establishing regenerative agriculture systems through crop science and genetic IP to build a superior, transparent food system for the future as well as redefining Ag Tech for monogastric animals. The company’s first offerings are pasture-raised, slow-growth, heirloom chickens, the result of a nine-figure investment which has taken over a decade to come to fruition.
In order to increase the use of regenerative farming and further develop crop science, Cooks Venture will use the funding to expand their processing capabilities, lead farmers in the transition to regenerative processes, and work with leading agroecologists to improve and innovate industry practices.
Cooks Venture’s sole purpose thus far has been to develop the best, slow-growth, heirloom chickens available nationwide with a focus on better animal welfare and regenerative agricultural systems. This is supported through propriety poultry genetics and crop science technology developed by Cooks Venture and its acquisitions.
Cooks Venture was founded on the scientific principle that sequestering 1% more carbon into the soil on agricultural lands could help reverse climate change. The company operates on four pillars of regenerative agriculture: better soil health, increased biodiversity, the use of integrated pest management, and better energy use. Following these tenants reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers that harm ecosystems and destroy soil fertility which, in turn, lowers energy consumption and decreases carbon emissions.
“Our goal is to use crop science and state-of-the-art technology to build regenerative processes and change our current food system while mitigating climate change. We’re starting with the most impactful and prolifically eaten food in the world – poultry,” said Matthew Wadiak, founder and CEO of Cooks Venture.
“AMERRA was an ideal partner for us and their provided financing will help us achieve our near-term growth objectives and allow us to expand our capacity to serve B2B and direct consumers nationally. Our financial adviser, Ivan Saval, also played an important role in sourcing and structuring this financing transaction,” he added.
After launching in Spring 2019, Cooks Venture quickly partnered with online grocer FreshDirect, making its pasture-raised, slow-growth, heirloom chickens available to customers across the Northeast. Two months later, the company’s poultry became available to customers, restaurants and food retailers across Northern California through its partnership with the region’s premiere, fourth generation meat distributor, Golden Gate Meat Company.
As a result of this funding round, the company has opened a completely renovated, start-of-the art, air-chilled processing facility, officially allowing Cooks Venture to be able to produce up to 700,000 slow-growth, heirloom chickens per week.
Wadiak continued, “Most importantly, this financing will give us the opportunity to further shape how regenerative farming is used within the larger agriculture space and help farmers who are looking to get more involved, all while providing consumers with responsible food choices driven by our proprietary systems.”
Cooks Venture’s mission seeks to improve and bring innovation to the American food system. They are redefining how agriculture technology and genetics for monogastric animals interact in developing better practices to create economies of scale for farmers which in turn provide profitable returns for farmers and private business.
Cooks Venture is a Global Animal Partnership Step 4 certified company, which is an animal welfare certification recognized by the ASPCA® Shop With Your Heart program.
Photo courtesy of Cooks Venture.