Berry company Driscoll’s has completed the acquisition of UK-based Berry Gardens Limited (BGL), the sales, packaging, and distribution entity of Berry Gardens Growers Limited (BGG).
Berry Gardens Limited, the UK’s largest supplier of berries, has grown, distributed and marketed Driscoll’s varieties on an exclusive basis in the UK for more than 20 years.
General Manager, Berry Gardens Limited, Nick Allen says: “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 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.”
The integration began Tuesday with both a ‘business-as-usual’ and ‘best-of-both-worlds’ attitude. Mr Allen, who stays as the General Manager of Berry Gardens and joins the Driscoll’s EMEA Management Team, says, “No changes will be made in the UK unless essential to align the two businesses and we’ll be seeking to benefit from each other’s strengths.”
The intent to acquire was announced in June this year, with both parties agreeing that the 2022 British growing season should not be interrupted.
Managing Director, Driscoll’s Europe, Middle East and Africa, Russell Allwell says: “This acquisition supports our vision to ‘become the world’s berry company, enriching the lives of everyone we touch’, given the UK is Europe’s second largest fresh berry market; and we believe there is strong growth potential in the UK.
“Berry Gardens’ value chain has a world-class infrastructure, strong historic ties to Driscoll’s, and industry-leading operations expertise. We can serve British customers and consumers better with an offer differentiated through innovation, new varieties and sustainable choices whether own-label or private. We will be investing heavily in the UK, attracting new consumers, creating new occasions and ensuring a long and successful local season in 2023 and beyond.”
From a commercial standpoint, Allwell says: “We’re a fifth-generation family business and the world’s biggest berry company so we have some experience. Our heritage is one of pioneering innovation and consistent growth in every country we operate in, we’d love to do the same here.”
The company says that relationships with the growers, who belong to Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, remain strong as they see the huge value and opportunities that Driscoll’s can bring in terms of volume growth.