In 2004, Rico International and its parent company, The Rutland Group approached D’Addario to determine if the company had an interest in acquiring its woodwind instrument reed division.
Having been the North American Distributor for Vandoren since 1986, D’Addario invited the company to partner with them on a purchase, but Vandoren declined. D’Addario subsequently acquired Rico International in 2004.
The sale included Rico International’s plantations in France and Argentina used to grow cane, which is then harvested, dried, sunned, processed into small sections, and ultimately machined into reeds.
With the acquisition, Jim D’Addario implemented sustainable plantation practices in the company’s cane fields to develop digitally controlled diamond blades to make the final cut on the reeds.