BerryWorld has announced the completion of the merger between Beekers Holdings and BerryWorld Europe.
Beekers Holdings includes the Beekers Berries and Beekers Made businesses, and following the change of ownership Wil Beekers’ has moved to BerryWorld Group as European chief executive
Alongside the merger announcement, the company revealed that it has opened offices in Nantes and established a division known as BerryWorld France. A subsidiary of BerryWorld Europe, the business will focus on growing, sourcing and marketing proprietary soft-fruit varieties to the local French market.
Beekers said BerryWorld sees significant growth opportunity in the French berry market, for both locally-grown product and imported berries. “Strawberries are well established, with a range of good domestic varieties available and strong consumer demand," he explained. "Raspberries and blueberries, by comparison, are rather underdeveloped and there is potential to increase consumer demand and grow both products.”
BerryWorld already has a strong grower nucleus in Anjou, and hopes to build on that with the new business. Initial operations will be working in partnership with Anjou Framboises, with the business aiming to expand its grower base in the future.
Grower Rodolphe Guépratte of Anjou Framboises said: “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.”