Belgian frozen vegetable provider Ardo has acquired a majority stake in Canadian company VLM Foods for an undisclosed amount.

In addition to VLM Foods, the transaction also includes a controlling stake in Compañia Frutera La Paz, a leading frozen pineapple producer in Costa Rica.

Headquartered in Montreal, VLM Foods supplies frozen fruits, vegetables and herbs to the North American market.

“Existing sustainable agriculture programmes at Ardo can be leveraged into increased opportunities with the right marketing approach in the North American market.”

VLM Foods intends to leverage Ardo’s expertise in sustainable agriculture, quality processing and product innovation capabilities, while Ardo will gain a strong North American platform.

VLM Foods president Jeff Preston said: “In addition to commodity vegetables, retail, foodservice and Industrial opportunities, we will look to expand new areas such as IQF herbs and value-added products such organics and a wide range of innovative products, available in the wide Ardo product offerings.

“Existing sustainable agriculture programmes at Ardo can be leveraged into increased opportunities with the right marketing approach in the North American market.”

Preston will continue as president of VLM Foods and also serve as regional director for Ardo North America.

Ardo managing director Jan Haspeslagh said: “Being the European leader in fresh frozen vegetables, herbs and fruit, Ardo offers a broad product range, a thorough agricultural knowledge, a technical manufacturing competence, as well as professional product innovation capabilities.

“VLM Foods, on the other hand, has proven its professional market knowledge and its dynamic business model. This combination sets the scenery for building the ideal platform to supply high-quality, sustainable and value added products into the North American market.”