Driscoll's completes the purchase of Berry Gardens Ltd.

Nick Allen remains with BGL as the world's number one berry marketer, Driscoll's, completes the acquisition of the trading arm of the UK's largest berry growers cooperative.

US berry giant Driscoll's has today (November 1) completed the acquisition of Berry Gardens Limited (BGL), the sales, packaging and distribution entity of the UK's leading berry cooperative, Berry Gardens Growers Limited (BGG). .

Driscoll's is the world's market leader in fresh berries with produce grown in over 21 countries and sold in over 60. Berry Gardens Limited is the UK's largest supplier of berries. Berry Gardens has grown, distributed and marketed Driscoll's varieties exclusively in the UK for over 20 years.

The intention to acquire was announced in June this year with both parties agreeing that the 2022 UK growing season should not be interrupted.

The intention to acquire was announced in June this year with both parties agreeing that the 2022 UK growing season should not be interrupted.

Driscoll's Europe, Middle East and Africa Managing Director Russell Allwell said: “This acquisition supports our vision to 'become the world's berry company, enriching the lives of everyone we touch', as the UK is the second largest fresh berry market in Europe; and we believe there is strong growth potential in the UK.

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

Berry Gardens Limited General Manager Nick Allen said: “This is a good move for all parties. Our customers will benefit from investments, innovations and category growth; British consumers will get the highest quality berries 52 weeks a year; our people get the benefits of working for a world leader; Berry Gardens growers continue to have access to world-class varieties; And, of course, Driscoll's ensures access to both a market with room for growth and some of the best berries grown anywhere in the world.

The integration begins today (Nov. 1) with a “business as usual” and “best of both worlds” attitude, Driscoll's said.

Allen, who remains as general manager of Berry Gardens and joins Driscoll's EMEA management team, said: "No changes will be made in the UK unless it is essential to align the two businesses and we will look to benefit from the strengths of each. ”

From a business standpoint, 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 consistent growth in every country we operate in, and we'd love to do the same here."

Relationships with growers, who are owned by 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 is the world market leader in fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

With more than 100 years of agricultural heritage, Driscoll's is a pioneer in berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand of Only the Finest Berries. With more than 900 independent growers worldwide, Driscoll's develops exclusive, proprietary berry varieties using only traditional farming methods that focus on growing great-tasting berries. A dedicated team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists, and entomologists help cultivate seedlings that are then grown on local family farms.

Driscoll's now serves consumers year-round in North America, Australia, Europe and China in more than twenty-one countries.

Berry Gardens Ltd supplies a large percentage of the country's berries and cherries. Until November 1, 2022, it was wholly owned by Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, a cooperative of 42 member growers spanning the country from Kent to Scotland.

Berry Gardens has had market exclusivity for Driscoll's market-leading Preferred and Premium genetics, and will now have access to the exciting portfolio of emerging varieties that Driscoll's is building for the future, to continue to raise quality standards across our supply in the UK for the next few years.

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