The 40th Annual General Meeting of Berry Gardens Growers Limited was held on May 1st in Bransford, Worcester. Finance Director Nick Allen reported that Group sales in 2011 surpassed £200 million for the first time in the Co-operative’s forty year history, increasing by 11% to a new high of £214M.
Once again the strong trading performance has enabled the Society to provide another substantial increase in rebates to members. Berry Gardens Growers members will shortly receive a share of a total rebate pool that is in excess of £3 million compared to the £2 million paid back to members last year.
In his address to the meeting Chairman Paul Kelsey commented “This year Berry Gardens has much to celebrate”.
Formed in 1972, our Co-operative is celebrating 40 years of sustained growth and development to become the leading UK soft and stone fruit marketing company.
Paul Kelsey went on to comment that it is pleasing to be able to report our strongest set of financial figures yet. The results support our assertion that the grower-owned co-operative model can deliver sustained long term success for members within the highly competitive UK fruit and vegetable sector. Our members will have received in excess of £5 million in rebates over a two year period, providing vital funds for their own businesses and underpinning our own positive outlook for the future of Berry Gardens.
During a period of economic challenge, including Euro zone uncertainty and rising costs it is heartening to see fresh berries are the number one category in supermarkets. Six years ago fresh berries were a poor fifth to bananas, apples, citrus and grapes. , Current figures show that the expansion in retail sales is continuing with premium varieties doing particularly well with events, such as the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics still to come.
Now more than ever, Berry Gardens and its owners should be proud of what has been achieved over the past 40 years through co-operation, hard work and a belief in the long term vision.
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