Following the change of ownership, Wil Beekers’ participation moves to BerryWorld Group and he now assumes the position of European CEO for the Group.
Following the completion, expansion plans are already underway as BerryWorld announces the opening of its French offices. Based in Nantes, home to the largest Produce growing region in the country, BerryWorld France has been established as a subsidiary of BerryWorld Europe and will focus on growing, sourcing and marketing proprietary soft fruit varieties to the local French market.
BerryWorld believes there is a significant growth opportunity in the French berry market, for both locally grown product and imported berries. As Beekers explains, “Strawberries are well established, with a range of good domestic varieties available and strong consumer demand. Raspberries and blueberries by comparison are rather underdeveloped and there is potential to increase consumer demand and grow both products.”
BerryWorld plans to build on its strong grower nucleus in Anjou, France. Initial operations will be working in partnership with Anjou Framboises and the business looks to expand its grower base in the future. As Rodolphe Guépratte of Anjou Framboises, an experienced grower with extensive knowledge of the French market explains, “this is a great opportunity to bring together BerryWorld’s wealth of European experience with our local knowledge and growing expertise to grow the French berry category together.”