Petaluma-based Marin Sun Farms, a certified organic slaughterhouse, and Mindful Meats of west Marin County plan to merge.

“The merger creates an expansion for the organic pastured beef market, allowing increased access to quality affordable meat for retail, health care and institutional customers while supporting local organic farmers and ranchers’ livelihoods,” the companies said in a joint announcement Wednesday, Feb. 8.

David Evans is CEO and founder of Marin Sun Farms, and Claire Herminjard, CEO of Mindful Meats. They said Mindful Meats, which in June 2013 became the first beef company in the United States to achieve Non-GMO Project verification status, will become an organic beef product line from Marin Sun Farms.

Evans will remain CEO and founder, and Herminjard will become co-executive of Marin Sun Farms.

The announcement stated the existence of Marin Sun, the only Bay Area slaughterhouse, is a boom for small scale farms.

“Without this slaughterhouse, many small-scale meat producers would have no buyers and no way to process their animals,” the companies said.

It said the closest other USDA certified organic slaughterhouse is in Merced, in the state’s Central Valley.

According to the company, Marin Sun Farms is one of Petaluma’s larger food business employers, with 55 jobs, 10 butcher shop staff in Oakland’s Rockridge Market Hall, and four employees in its Point Reyes Station butcher shop and restaurant.