BerryWorld Group’s strength is growing in Europe following the completion of a merger of Beekers Holdings BV, with the company now eyeing expansion in the French market.
Beekers Holdings includes the Beekers Berries and Beekers Made businesses now fully owned by BerryWorld Europe.
Following the change in ownership, Wil Beekers will now assume the position of European CEO for the BerryWorld Group.
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.
“Strawberries are well established, with a range of good domestic varieties available and strong consumer demand,” Beekers explained.
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.
“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,” said Rodolphe Guépratte of Anjou Framboises.