Bonnie Plants, the largest U.S. national grower and supplier of quality vegetable and herb plants for consumers, recently announced a strategic, formalized partnership with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products.
Together, the companies will make consumers’ gardening experience easier and even more successful by bringing together two top, trusted, well-known gardening brands and combining efforts, resources and expertise within the live-goods and plant-care products categories. As part of the agreement, ScottsMiracle-Gro will have a minority stake in the Bonnie Plants business and will provide exclusive marketing, and research and development services to the edible-gardening initiatives of the company.
"As leaders in our respective live-goods and consumer-products categories, our companies have enjoyed a longstanding history together and the Bonnie Plants family welcomes this opportunity to formalize our deep-rooted relationship with ScottsMiracle-Gro," said Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants. "This investment allows us to enhance and grow our business by combining ScottsMiracle-Gro’s marketing and R&D expertise with our expertise in plant production through our national greenhouse operations and widespread retail distribution."
The companies will work together to improve and support gardeners’ retail shopping experience by providing more complete and comprehensive garden-to-table initiatives. ScottsMiracle-Gro will also leverage its R&D expertise to help innovate with the goal to offer vegetable and herb plants with quicker and more plentiful harvests.
"Our relationship with Bonnie dates back decades when we worked together on marketing programs that helped propel the Miracle-Gro business," said Jim Hagedorn. "There is no finer brand in the live-goods category than Bonnie and the benefits from this partnership for both sides are obvious and significant. We look forward to working with the Bonnie team to drive the gardening category to new heights."
Bonnie Plants, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alabama Farmers Cooperative, will continue to operate as an independent organization led by Stan Cope. A management committee with representatives from both organizations will oversee any joint business operations. The deal is expected to close in late February 2016, provided that certain conditions are met including AFC membership approvals. AFC was advised by Rabobank, a long-term, trusted advisor to the Cooperative.
About Bonnie Plants
Headquartered in Union Springs, Bonnie Plants is the largest and only national supplier and producer of vegetables and herbs in the United States. Bonnie grows more than 250 varieties of quality vegetables and herb plants for gardeners across the country with 72 growing stations serving the 48 contiguous states. Established in 1918 by Bonnie and Livingston Paulk, the company has remained in touch with its roots and is led by their grandson, Stan Cope. Bonnie Plants, available at every Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowes and 4,700 independent garden centers in the 48 contiguous states, provides their plants in biodegradable, plant-able pots, preventing transplant shock and saving more than 100 million plastic pots from landfills each year. For more information, please visit www.bonnieplants.com.
About Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc.
Founded in 1936, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. is an agricultural cooperative providing Alabama farmers a full range of agricultural supplies and services. Based in Decatur, AFC has 37 member associations, including approximately 90 retail locations and 2,300+ employees. All facilities operated by AFC are governed by local, farmer-owned cooperatives. Each member Co-op shares in the financial proceeds from AFC operations and benefits from the research and marketing services of the entire Co-op system. AFC has grown to become one of the largest farmer-owned, agriculture-related businesses in the Southeast.
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world’s largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company’s brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the United States, the Company’s Scotts, Miracle-Gro and Ortho brands are market leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup brand, marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts. In the United States, we operate Scotts LawnService, the second largest residential lawn care service business. In Europe, the Company’s brands include Weedol, Pathclear, Evergreen, Levington, Miracle-Gro, KB, Fertiligène and Substral. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com.