South African arm of UK berry grower-supplier BerryWorld says it is poised for successful blueberry season

BerryWorld South Africa produces blueberries in South Africa and Zimbabwe

BerryWorld South Africa produces blueberries in South Africa and Zimbabwe

Leading South African blueberry grower-exporter BerryWorld South Africa, part of the UK BerryWorld group, is forecasting a successful 2022/3 season with a 15 per cent volume increase on last year.

Jason Richardson, managing director at BerryWorld South Africa, which was established in 1993 and grows blueberries in low and high-chill areas in South Africa and Zimbabwe, said he is feeling optimistic about the deal ahead.

“It is still early days, but we are optimistic about the potential ahead and expect volumes to be up by 15 per cent year-on-year,” he said.

”We are growing with our customer base, while still exploring expansion opportunities in different market segments in order to give our growers exposure to a strong mix of orders globally.”

Given the current logistical challenges facing global fresh produce exporters, BerryWorld South Africa is employing several strategies to ensure it will be a successful season, Richardson added.

“We have Information and supply chain systems in place to help deal with the rigour of the current logistics landscape,” he said. ”At the same time, we are working towards reducing complexity in the supply chain in order to serve customers consistently well and supply a high-quality product that exceeds customer expectations.”

BerryWorld South Africa is also focused on expanding its premium varietal offer, a common strategy across the rest of the BerryWorld Group since the start of its successful partnership with Australian-based premium variety developer Mountain Blue Orchards (MBO) in 2017.

“In our 25-year journey in berries, flavour has always played a key role to drive purchase and long-term industry growth, that is why we have focussed on premium award-winning genetics to sustainably deliver the highest quality varieties all year round,” said Adrian Olins, divisional CEO at BerryWorld Group.

One of the top performing varieties, BerryWorld Eureka Sunrise, selected by world renowned breeder Ridley Bell in 2014 for its early period of fruit ripening, high yield, and unique flavour will see a growth of 85 per cent this season, demonstrating a global appetite for premium varieties, he added.

”BerryWorld trusts that their strong blueberry supply from South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as its unique varietal offer, and market expertise will continue to drive year-round demand,” Olins said.