Hart Dairy, the largest single-source producer of 100% free-range, grass-fed milk in America, said it successfully closed its planned $10 million seed round to catalyze the long-term growth of the company. The funding round was led by Sydney-based Alium Capital to enable Hart Dairy’s growth in America and Asia.

The Augusta, Ga.-based processor said it will deploy the capital to further expand its premium and better-for-you dairy product offerings, increase production capabilities and continue the innovation of its forward-thinking and industry-leading animal welfare practices.

“This significant influx of new capital is a clear validation of how we see free-range, grass-fed milk emerging in America,” said Tim Connell, CEO of Hart Dairy. “With consumers’ paradigm shift toward better-for-you products and our recent Certified Humane certification for the farms we care for most, we believe we are on the right trajectory. Having a world-class organization such as Alium Capital in our corner is a huge endorsement for Hart Dairy as we continue to grow and pioneer the 100% free-range, grass-fed movement for our cherished consumers.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Hart Dairy’s recent news that it was named as the first and only pasteurized dairy cow operation in America to earn the Certified Humane designation from Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), which is considered to be the most stringent animal welfare standard globally. HFAC is the leading international nonprofit certification program with a mission to improve the lives of farm animals and drive consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices, Hart Dairy said.

“We were very impressed with Hart Dairy’s exceptional operation, along with their ability to recognize and fill this significant gap in the dairy market,” said Alium Director Jason Rich. “We were also attracted by the team’s ability to scale quickly, and most importantly, they have the expert management team in place to execute appropriately to achieve success in this category.”