Leading Australian fresh produce company Costa Group and US-based berry company Driscoll's have finalised their joint venture (JV) shareholder agreement to operate a berry production company in China.
The JV will focus on producing berries for the growing market of Asian consumers demanding high-quality berries, with Costa holding 70 per cent ownership. Driscoll's has 30 per cent ownership and will also be responsible for marketing the berries.
The finalised agreement builds on an earlier MoU between the two companies, with blueberry and raspberry farms already established in China’s Yunnan province and the first raspberry harvest underway.
Costa has adopted it substrate berry growing system from Australia, with permanent tunnels used at the Yunnan farm, with another farming location being established in China and production to commence shortly, according to a company statement released 28 January.
The China JV adds to a six-year relationship between Costa and Driscoll's in Australia and the US, with both companies looking to work collaboratively to investigate further growth opportunities, according to Costa MD and CEO Harry Debney.
“We have been delighted by progress of the Costa-Driscoll's relationship over the past six years,” Driscoll’s CEO Kevin Murphy added. “Costa has established the premier berry production business in Australia and also has a proven track record with blueberries in Morocco.
“We believe that combining our resources where it makes sense on a global basis will make for a formidable partnership. I look forward to continuing to develop further opportunities with Costa.”