This year, Driscoll’s, one of the world’s leading companies in the production and marketing of berries, has made several acquisitions. One of them was the purchase, in mid-June, of Berry Gardens Growers Limited (BGG), the largest cooperative of berry growers in the United Kingdom.
Then in July, the company reached an agreement to acquire Hegrove Africa Trading, a subsidiary of Hegrove Haven. This year, Driscoll will continue to strengthen relationships with various organizations, as confirmed by Portalfuticola, Miguel ngel Curiel, Vice President and General Manager of Driscoll’s Mexico.
“What has been done is to strengthen these ties through this formalization, the purchase of operations in both Africa and the United Kingdom.”
Regarding the purchase of Haygrove Africa Trading, Miguel ngel Curiel said: “There was already an exclusive production and marketing relationship and what we are doing is solidifying our objective of being a global leader in blueberries, a global leader in blueberries. There is a permanent base, which is complementary. The program we have is from the Southern Hemisphere”.
Regarding the challenges for the industry, which is facing a logistics crisis and rising inflation in almost all countries, Driscoll’s vice president and general director in Mexico explained that “one of the challenges is the availability of labor, which is an important The issue is industry. Secondly, there has been an increase in the cost of inputs like fertilizers, materials for setting up tunnels. Global logistics has affected production and plantation programmes, where there is a shortage of fertilizers, substrates in the market.
“The berry industry, such as that of Driscoll’s, has a huge responsibility in the midst of this uncertain landscape. Today the berry industry represents 15% of Mexico’s agricultural exports and will continue to be an industry that is growing.”
As the dollar rose, the expert commented: “There has been a very stable exchange rate in the case of Mexico. I had to attend a conference where they told us about the prospects as soon as the exchange rate stabilizes, but not inflation. Will continue to grow in the U.S. forecast for Mexico at 8%, the country’s interest rate will rise which will cut off more money availability. We’re gearing up with what’s happening in the United States, because our economic inputs will increase. -Provide is huge and dependent.
Regarding the logistics crisis, Miguel ngel Curial indicated: “If we take into account that gasoline is subsidized in Mexico, the cost of transportation has not increased as much compared to other regions. 98% of what we export is overhead, so we haven’t had any disruption in the supply chain.”
berry season 2022
The 2022 Mexican barrie season begins in late August. 98% of Driscoll’s exports to North America go to countries such as the United States and Canada. Only 2% of shipments go to Europe and Asia.
“We expect this to be a more normal season. We have been under pressure from the La Nia event for two years, with dry conditions during the winter when we typically have winter rains in Mexico, which allows us to have better agroecological conditions,” said Miguel ngel Curial.
Regarding the estimates, the expert pointed out; “Last season we finished at 200,000 tonnes. The industry would have finished at 500 million tonnes or a little more. We anticipate growth on a 8% to 10% basis.
“We will have uniform growth among different crops. Strawberries are the crop that represents about 50% of our volume and will increase by 8% to 9%. In the rest of the crops we will be in the same range, there is no big difference i.e. between 8 to 10%.
investment and innovation
The company continues to invest, focusing specifically on genetic material. “We have some of the most comprehensive programs globally across all crops. In all regions, especially in Mexico, we are investing in improving our diversity production system. We also continue to improve and improve our cold chain, which is critical to delivering a quality product to the consumer, and we continue to make significant investments in Mexico,” said Miguel ngel Curial.
As for innovation, “our focus is to serve this North American consumer,” Curiel said, “What we see as innovation is continually going above and beyond the manufacturer’s standard of quality, taste and value that we have Customers appreciate. The foregoing is working in different directions and features that the products can give, for example, taste is number one. We also have sizes, packaging. Customers and consumers demand different value propositions. Our For this reason, they are still 80% product quality, taste, and the rest are working on innovations that improve efficiency in harvesting across the supply chain. We continue to invest in the very basics that help us harvest fruit. We are focused on improving our value proposition for the consumer.”