Italy-headquartered produce major Orsero Group has formed a joint venture in the market for soft berries.

Publicly-listed Orsero has teamed up with the Molari family to produce and sell berries through the new I Frutti di Gil venture.

Orsero owns 51% of the new business with Cerchia Holding, which is represented by berry-industry specialists Matteo and Luca Molari. They will lead the new company as co-CEOs.

According to Orsero, the Molaris bring 20 years of experience in fruit breeding to the new venture, which, it said, will also benefit from its sales network in Italy and marketing muscle.

In a joint statement, Orsero co-CEOs Raffaella Orsero and Matteo Colombini said: “We live in a historical period in which the search for comfortable and practical solutions for consuming healthy and fresh products is constant. Berries are quick and easy to consume, and fully respond to this need.”

They added: “We couldn’t choose a better ally for developing this path than the Molari family, specialists in berries, who share our vision of growth and constant search for quality.”

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The berries, after collection from farmers, will be shipped to Orsero’s warehouses. The company’s Verona warehouse will serve as the joint venture’s distribution centre until a new site is constructed nearby. Orsero said the berries will be “widely distributed through Italy.”

Luca Molari said: “We are certain that with a lot of commitment and passion, combined with a varietal choice and a distribution capacity unique in Italy, we will be able to achieve the goal, also thanks to a network of excellent national and international producers.”

Orsero is present in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia, both as a producer and distributor.

The company also imports fresh fruit and vegetables, bananas and pineapples as well. The business is listed on the Euronext Milan.

The Molari family business, led by Matteo and Luca Molari, is made up of two companies: G-Berries and Molari Società Agricola, which focuses on the nursery propagation of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries and goji berries.

Orsero’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to €337.9m ($363.1m), down 2.7% from last year’s €347.3m.

Its net profit was €5m, down 61.7% on a year earlier.