Summer berries strawberries

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Driscoll’s said the acquisition of the UK’s largest supplier of berries would help it to ‘become the world’s berry company’

Driscoll’s has today completed the acquisition of Berry Gardens, the sales, packaging and distribution entity of Berry Gardens Growers.

The US-based fruit giant’s intent to acquire Berry Gardens was announced in June this year, with both parties agreeing that the 2022 British growing season should not be interrupted.

Driscoll’s is the global market leader for fresh berries – grown in more than 21 countries and sold in more than 60. It said the acquisition of the UK’s largest supplier of berries would help it to “become the world’s berry company”.

The integration of the two brands will begin on 1 November. However, Nick Allen, general manager of Berry Gardens and now a member of the Driscoll’s EMEA management team, said: “No changes will be made in the UK unless essential to align the two businesses.”

MD of Driscoll’s EMEA Russell Allwell added: “We can serve British customers and consumers better with an offer differentiated through innovation, new varieties and sustainable choices whether own label or private.”

Allwell also outlined plans to invest heavily in the UK, with the desire to offer “innovation and consistent growth” to the market.

The acquisition follows a long partnership between the two brands with Berry Gardens having grown, distributed and marketed Driscoll’s varieties on an exclusive basis in the UK for more than 20 years.

Allen said it was “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 per year; our staff get the benefits of working for a global leader; Berry Gardens Growers continue to have access to world-class varieties; and, of course, Driscoll’s secures access to both a market with room for growth and some of the best berries grown anywhere in the world,” he added.