Sale final for slaughterhouse

03/06/2014

After closing escrow last Friday, Marin Sun Farms founder David Evans became the official owner of the Petaluma slaughterhouse entangled in Rancho Feeding’s massive beef recall. 

The multi-million dollar purchase and upgrades to the facility, slated to reopen as early as this month, completes the company’s vertical integration from slaughter to retail distribution.

“The slaughterhouse has been a bottleneck for grass-fed beef in the Bay Area and in general across the country,” said investor Ali Partovi, an early backer of Facebook and Dropbox. “To me, this is not just a vast opening of opportunity. It’s a symbol to the rest of the country of a new, more sustainable practice rising up out of the failure of the old way of doing things.”

Rancho’s former owners say they are cooperating with investigations by the U.S.D.A.’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A statement by Jesse “Babe” Amaral’s lawyer last week urged exemptions from the recall for custom beef ranchers because documentation shows the cows were not “tainted, diseased, or
uninspected.”

The government’s review is ongoing, and a source said U.S.D.A. employees will be visiting the area this week.