Berry Gardens Growers Ltd., the largest grower-owned horticulture co-operative in the UK, appointed Robin Walker as new chairman. Walker has been vice-chairman of the co-operative for the past six years, supporting former chairman Alastair Brooks.
“Robin has been a tremendous help during my tenure and is my natural successor,” Brooks says. “He is ideally positioned to offer continuity in many of our recent changes. That and his considerable business experience, will be a major benefit to the group.”
Before his stint with Berry Gardens, Walker worked with household brands including Heinz, Carlsberg and HP both in the UK and internationally. He also has worked with several charities and over the past few years has been appointed Non-Executive Director with James Hutton Ltd and The Animal and Plant Health Authority.
Walker takes over the helm during a unique time at Berry Gardens, which provides sales and marketing services to members, who are located across the country from the South East to Aberdeenshire.
“In the current climate, it will be a challenging 12 months ahead and our main focus is to support our growers to ensure they have sustainable businesses in the long term and continue to grow the best berries and stone fruit for our customers to enjoy,” Walker says. “We have a strong and focussed management team, led by Nick Allen and are ideally positioned to develop the market with our strong co-operative roots and exclusive varieties that we grow for the UK consumer.”
Berry Gardens specialises in berries and cherries and has an exclusive partnership with Driscoll’s which allows the provision of market-leading varieties, direct from grower to retailer. Berry Gardens also work with like-minded growers to support the winter import season ensuring continuous supply of the best quality fruit 52 weeks of the year.