Costa Group, the Australian produce supplier, and US-based distributor Driscoll’s have set up a berry production venture in China.

The new business will grow berries for the Chinese market, with Driscoll’s marketing the products. Costa owns 70% of the venture, with Driscoll’s holding the rest.

The first blueberry and raspberry farm has already been established in Yunnan province in the south west of the country, with the initial raspberry harvest in progress. 

Harry Debney, Costa Group’s MD and CEO, said: “This builds on the successful equally owned JV in Australia, which over the last six years has grown to be the number one marketer of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries in the country.” 

Debney said Driscoll’s has an expansion programme in the Americas using Costa blueberry varieties and the companies have also agreed to work together “to investigate growth opportunities on a global basis combining their complementary skills and varieties”.

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By GlobalData

The move is not the first time the two companies have worked together. Driscoll’s Australia is a partnership between the two sides that markets Costa-grown berries throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Driscoll’s CEO Kevin Murphy said China is “a major growth region” for the business and added: “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.”