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Seneca Foods Acquires 49% Stake in CraftAg, LLC

MARION, N.Y., Feb. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seneca Foods Corporation (“Seneca”) (NASDAQ: SENEA, SENEB) and CraftAg Enterprises, Inc. (“CraftAg”) announced today the formation of a joint-venture, CraftAg, LLC, a vertically integrated seed-to-sale hemp company.

CraftAg was one of the early participants in Washington State’s hemp pilot program, working with a small network of growers in the Yakima Valley to produce, process, and sell Aromahemp™ – a safe, flavorful, and premium quality input for smokable hemp products and herbal vapor blends. CraftAg’s proprietary techniques for processing superior dried and cured whole hemp flower distinguish it from the many processors focusing on cannabinoid isolates.

The newly formed CraftAg, LLC will process hemp in Sunnyside, WA, at a facility that was previously owned by Seneca and used as a pear and apple cannery. The repurposed 270k square foot facility has already begun processing the 2019 crop of Aromahemp™, and is ideally located in the heart of the Yakima Valley, a region well-suited for growing specialty crops such as hemp.

Seneca is investing approximately $10 million and contributing the Sunnyside facility to acquire a 49% stake in CraftAg, LLC. CraftAg, LLC plans to further build-out its vertically integrated production network, including the construction of a large-scale, technologically state-of-the-art, automated hemp processing plant at the Sunnyside, WA facility, while modernizing CraftAg’s existing seed and clone propagation facilities located near Royal City, WA.

“Seneca is enthused to be partnering with CraftAg in this rapidly growing hemp agribusiness”, stated Kraig Kayser, Seneca Foods’ President and CEO. “The opportunity to repurpose a closed cannery to create a new and exciting business in Sunnyside is very compelling.”

Rory Rawlings, CraftAg CEO stated: “CraftAg is excited to announce this joint venture with Seneca Foods to accelerate the growth of our vertically integrated supply chain for premium Aromahemp™ flower and related products. The new partnership combines CraftAg’s hemp expertise with Seneca’s multi-generational legacy in food production and distribution at scale. The result is an unbeatable platform for development and production of new hemp-based consumer products.”

About Seneca Foods Corporation
Seneca Foods is North America’s leading provider of packaged fruits and vegetables, with facilities located throughout the United States. Its high quality products are primarily sourced from over 2,000 American farms.  Seneca holds the largest share of the retail private label, food service, and export canned vegetable markets, distributing to over 90 countries.   Products are also sold under the highly regarded brands of Libby’s®, Aunt Nellie’s®, READ®, Cherryman® and Seneca labels, including Seneca snack chips.   Seneca’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Stock Market under the symbols “SENEA” and “SENEB”. SENEA is included in the S&P SmallCap 600, Russell 2000 and Russell 3000 indices.

About CraftAg Enterprises, Inc.
CraftAg Enterprises, Inc. is an agribusiness and technology company.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about management’s beliefs or expectations, are forward looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995.  All forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and contingencies which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance, or achievements.  Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include those set forth in Seneca Foods Corporation’s filings with the SEC, including the disclosure under the heading “Risk Factors” in Seneca Foods’ Annual Report on Form 10-K.  There can be no assurance that the merger will close on the expected schedule or that the merger will be consummated at all.  We are under no obligation to update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts:
Timothy J. Benjamin, Chief Financial Officer
Seneca Foods Corporation
315-926-8100

Travis Lumpkin, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
CraftAg Enterprises, Inc.
360-830-6245