Meet the number one seller of both coffee and tea to U.S. restaurants.
IPO Edge and the Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association hosted a fireside chat with the CEO and CFO of Westrock Coffee Company on Thursday, July 28 to discuss the upcoming merger with Riverview Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: RVAC), the company’s history and mission, a digitally traceable supply chain and changes in beverage consumption habits. The event featured Westrock Coffee Co-Founder and CEO Scott Ford and CFO Chris Pledger joined by IPO Edge Editor-in-Chief John Jannarone and Editor-at-Large Jarrett Banks in a moderated video session lasting approximately 60 minutes including a Q&A with the audience.
Messrs. Ford and Pledger discussed:
- Westrock Coffee’s upcoming merger with Riverview Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: RVAC), a special purpose acquisition company
- The Company’s origin story, including Scott’s sale of Alltel, his work in Rwanda during his gap year, and his work with smallholder farmers there
- Westrock Coffee’s mission: to be the world’s most competitive and innovative provider of beverage solutions to the most distinguished brands in order to provide smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries to advance their quality of life and economic status
- Why a digitally traceable supply chain matters to Westrock’s customers
- Changes in beverage consumption habits (especially among younger consumers), and how Westrock will be using proceeds from the transaction to both grow internationally and fund the development of its Conway facility (to meet surging demand for flavors, extracts and ingredients products)
About the Speakers
Scott Ford, CEO & Co-founder, Westrock Coffee Company
Scott Ford, Co-founder of Westrock Coffee Company, serves as Chief Executive Officer. When Scott started Westrock Coffee, the goal was to give back in a way that led to economic change in the lives of the people of Rwanda. Evidence ten years later is a vertically integrated coffee company that impacts over one million members of smallholder farming households in more than 20 different coffee growing countries worldwide. Prior to co-founding Westrock, Scott served as President and CEO of Alltel Corporation. Scott began his professional career as an investment banker and subsequently served as the Assistant to the Chairman at Stephens Group where his work involved traditional investment banking services, equity portfolio management, venture capital investing, and acquisitions in the media industry. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AT&T Inc.
Chris Pledger, CFO, Westrock Coffee Company
Chris Pledger serves as Chief Financial Officer at Westrock Coffee Company, overseeing all finance, accounting, tax, and corporate development functions for the company worldwide. He also leads the global expansion of the company’s trading and export operations. Prior to joining Westrock Coffee in 2013, Chris served as the company’s outside legal counsel as a partner at Kutak Rock LLP. He has also served as a legal, international business, and finance executive at Hunt Oil Company. Chris began his career as a corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney at Thompson & Knight LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP. Chris serves on the Board of Directors of Falcon Coffees Limited and Rwanda Trading Company.
About Westrock Coffee
Westrock Coffee Holdings, LLC is a leading integrated coffee, tea, flavors, extracts, and ingredients solutions provider in the U.S., providing coffee sourcing, supply chain management, product development, roasting, packaging, and distribution services to the retail, food service and restaurant, convenience store and travel center, CPG, non-commercial and hospitality industries around the world. With offices in 10 countries, the company sources coffee and tea from 35 origin countries.