03 Nov 2022

DRISCOLL'S EXPANSION: COMPLETED ACQUISITION OF UK-BASED BERR...

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Driscoll's, the world's number one marketer of berries, completes its acquisition of Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, the commercial arm of the UK's largest cooperative of berry growers,

U.S. berry giant Driscoll's completed its acquisition of Berry Gardens Limited (BGL), the sales, packaging, and distribution entity of the leading U.K. berry cooperative Berry Gardens Growers Limited (BGG), on Nov. 1, 2022.

Driscoll's is a leader in the global fresh berry market, with products grown in more than 21 countries and sold in over 60. Berry Gardens Limited is the largest supplier of berries in the United Kingdom and has grown, distributed and marketed Driscoll's varieties exclusively in the United Kingdom for over 20 years.

New Paper Pack from Driscoll's.
New Paper Pack from Driscoll's.

The intention to acquire was announced in June this year, with both parties agreeing not to interrupt the 2022 British growing season.

Managing director of Driscoll's Europe, Middle East and Africa, Russell Allwell, said, "This acquisition supports our vision of 'becoming the world's berry company, enriching the lives of everyone we touch,' as the UK is Europe's second largest market for fresh berries; we also believe there is strong growth potential in the UK."

"The Berry Gardens value chain has a world-class infrastructure, strong historical ties to Driscoll's, and industry-leading operational experience. We can better serve UK customers and consumers with a differentiated offering through innovation, new varieties, and sustainable choices, both own-label and private label. We will invest heavily in the UK, attracting new consumers, creating new opportunities, and ensuring a long and successful local season in 2023 and beyond."

Nick Allen, managing director of Berry Gardens Limited, said, "This is a positive move for all parties. Our customers will benefit from investment, innovation and category growth; UK consumers will get berries of the highest quality for 52 weeks of the year; our staff will get the benefits of working for a global leader; Berry Gardens growers will continue to have access to world-class varieties; and, of course, Driscoll's will secure access to a market with room to grow and some of the best berries grown anywhere in the world."

Nick Allen, CEO of Berry Gardens Ltd since 2019.
Nick Allen, CEO of Berry Gardens Ltd since 2019.

Integration begins Nov. 1 with a "business-as-usual" and "best-of-both-worlds" attitude, Driscoll's said.

Allen, who remains as managing director of Berry Gardens and joins Driscoll's EMEA management team, said, "No changes will be made in the U.K. unless essential to align the two businesses, and we will try to take advantage of each other's strengths."

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On the business side, Allwell says, "We are a fifth-generation family business and the largest berry company in the world, so we have some experience. Our heritage is one of pioneering innovation and steady growth in every country we operate in, and we'd like to do the same here."

Relationships with the growers, who belong to Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, remain strong as they see the tremendous value and opportunities that Driscoll's can bring in terms of volume growth.


DRISCOLL 'S - With more than 100 years of farming tradition, Driscoll's is a pioneer in berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand 'Only the Finest Berries.' With more than 900 independent growers worldwide, Driscoll's develops exclusive, patented berry varieties using only traditional breeding methods that focus on growing berries with excellent flavor. A dedicated team of agronomists, plant breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists and entomologists help grow seedlings that are then cultivated on local family farms. Today Driscoll's serves consumers year-round in North America, Australia, Europe and China, in more than twenty-one countries.

BERRY GARDENS LTD - Berry Gardens Ltd supplies a large percentage of the UK's berries and cherries. Until November 1, 2022, it was wholly owned by Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, a cooperative of 42 member growers covering the entire country from Kent to Scotland. Berry Gardens has had market exclusivity for Driscoll's market-leading Premium and Preferred genetics and will now have access to the exciting pipeline of emerging varieties that Driscoll's is building for the future to continue to raise the standards of quality supply in the UK in the coming years.

Source:Fruitnet
Fruitnet is part of the NCX Media network.

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