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Berry Gardens Growers Rewarded with Record Rebate

Berry Gardens Growers Limited held its 44th Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Tewskesbury on the 28th April 2016.

“2015 has been another record year for Berry Gardens, says Alastair Brooks, Chairman.  Following a second year of mild winters the season started as expected and production across the Group largely followed our preseason forecast, which allowed us to maximise member sales.  As a result we have achieved a record turnover of £278million, representing an increase of 15.8% year on year.  This in turn allowed us to reinvest record amounts back into our member’s businesses, by running our biggest ever PO program, increased R&D spend, and giving record rebates to member’s. We have also expanded our services to member’s in areas like agronomy, pest monitoring, IT, benchmarking and supply chain. Our association with Driscoll’s has allowed us to further increase our efforts in varietal development on all our main fruit types".

Alastair continues “growth is attributable to both UK and import sales, in early 2016 import sales exceeded the £100million mark for a rolling 52 weeks, assisted by the investment in the Berry Gardens Packhouse which packed 61.9million punnets in 2015 over 10 packing lines – an increase of nearly 20% from 2015.
Berry Gardens Growers Ltd is the largest grower owned co-operative in UK horticulture with 54 growers across the UK from the south coast of England to Aberdeenshire in Scotland, which gives us a unique spread of production and helps us to maintain our position as the 8th largest fresh produce company in the UK.  To fulfil the continued growth of the market in the UK, growers continue to invest heavily in their businesses, with investments ranging from glasshouse production heated by bio-mass, table top and other substrate systems, packhouses and cooling. This has never been more important as UK horticulture adjusts to the new national living wage rate introduced in April".

"Berry Gardens and their long term partner Driscoll’s continue working closely together to continually improve the quality of fruit we offer to our consumers.  These include the new junebearers Driscoll’s® Elizabeth™ and Rosalie™, the very exciting new sweet eating blackberry Driscoll’s® Victoria™ and a new raspberry variety, Driscoll’s® Riviera™  joining the industry leader Driscoll Maravilla. ” adds Alastair.

"British cherries, long been seen as a six-week wonder, is moving into a different and exciting phase. Following on from 2015 when our production increased by 70%, we were delighted to welcome two new members in Kent for 2016 which will cement our position as the UK leading producers of Cherries in this fast growing and exciting category. With covered production from Kent to Aberdeenshire, we now have a season that runs from early June to the end of September. This will be further enhanced by the introduction of two new varieties, one early and one late that will mean we can supply all our customers with fresh British cherries all summer".

Alastair concludes “our focus as ever remains on growing the best quality soft fruit and cherries for the UK market.  With our geographic spread of growers and their continued appetite for innovation to drive the market forward I am confident we will continue to offer the best tasting soft fruit and delight our customers, whilst providing a profitable and sustainable future for our growers”.

For more information please contact Janine Hatfield,,
01892 838800.