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A Business Fit for the Future

3 May 2018

Berry Gardens Grower Limited invited its grower members to attend its 46th Annual General Meeting this week. The co-operative has once again enjoyed a successful year with turnover increasing by 8% to £346million.

“The main driver of our success last year is the performance of our UK grower owners – home grown produce sales grew in excess of 14% with strawberries up 10% and cherry sales doubling. But most importantly, and despite a period of market volatility in June and July, the clear majority of our 54 members have reported a good 2017 season. Furthermore, despite concerns about labour, growers remain in an expansive frame of mind,” says Alastair Brooks, Chairman of Berry Gardens Growers Ltd.

Alastair continues: “2017 saw Berry Gardens make significant changes including appointing Jacqui Green as CEO of our marketing company, Berry Gardens Ltd, following Nicholas Marston’s retirement at Fruit Focus last year. Since then the Society has approved a new five year strategic plan including ambitious sales and financial performance targets. The strategy focusses on four key area – People, Innovation, Collaboration and Knowledge, or referred to within the business as PICK.

We continue working closing with Driscoll’s and during the import season have introduced a new premium strawberry variety from Iberia called Driscoll’s® Lara™. In addition, despite challenging weather conditions we have also achieved increased availability of sweet blackberries during the winter which has enabled customers to enjoy the berries for more weeks than ever before!”

In addition planning permission was granted for a new 190,000 square foot state of the art office and packhouse development close to the company’s existing packhouse in Linton. The new facility, which will be constructed in collaboration with Berry Gardens landlords Firmin Limited, will be completed towards the end of 2019 and accommodate all Berry Gardens operations in one location for the first time.

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