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Following Purchase, Idaho Companies Form Largest Trout Farm In U.S.

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Riverence Holdings
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Clear Springs Foods, based in Buhl, has operated in the Magic Valley since 1966. It was recently purchased by an Idaho-based competitor, Riverence Holdings.

Two of the nation’s largest trout farms are joining forces, and they’re both based in Idaho's Magic Valley. Riverence Holdings recently purchased its larger competitor, Clear Springs Foods.

 

Riverence announced the acquisition over the weekend. The company grows steelhead and rainbow trout eggs in Washington and raises fish in land-based facilities in Idaho. 

 

David Kelley, a television writer and producer behind shows like "Big Little Lies" and "Ally McBeal," is the founder of Riverence, which entered the market in 2014.

The relatively new company announced it bought Clear Springs Foods, which has been producing rainbow trout along the Snake River near Buhl for more than 50 years. 

Idaho raises about 70% of the nation’s trout in fish farms, and these two companies dominate the field. There are still a few independent producers in the state, but Riverence now controls the majority of the market share. 

 

Following the acquisition, Riverence now operates 14 trout production farms in Idaho and has contracts with seven additional farms, which allow it to produce up to 35 million pounds of trout before processing in one year.

 

In a press release, Riverence said the deal gives it command of the supply chain from “egg to plate.” The company elaborated in an email that Clear Springs contributes, in part, its cold chain distribution networks.

Clear Springs Foods was an employee-owned company and Riverence Holdings, the new owner, said the details of the purchase are not being publicized. Riverence intends to maintain both brands and the 450 workers employed by the companies, the vast majority of whom are Idaho-based.

 

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio

Editor's note: This post has been updated with additional information provided by Riverence Holdings.

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