Berry Gardens Growers’ profits were the same in 2012 as the previous year despite the season’s poor weather.
Paul Kelsey, chairman of the soft fruit grower co-operative, revealed at its 41st annual general meeting on April 29 that the business had performed well during 2012 "in spite of wet and cold weather in the UK which created a challenging production and marketing environment for both soft and stone fruit".He added: "Profits were held at the previous year’s level and sales were the second highest reported by the society - with the co-operative benefitting in particular from the work done over previous year’s to grow its counter season business.
He added that Berry Gardens members are receiving rebate payments in the region of £3 million. He said: "From 2013, rebate payments will be made during May, to help members manage their pre-season cash flow."
Looking ahead, Kelsey said that the future of the co-operative is secure. He said: "Berry Gardens and our partner Driscoll’s, continue our commitment to industry-leading investment in plant breeding to help deliver an improved varietal offer. We are therefore delighted with the agreement reached in 2012 to extend our partnership arrangements with Driscoll’s on an extended basis."
"This combined with the funding of both our own and wider industry research projects, will be essential in maintaining our industry leading varietal offering, reducing the costs of production and increasing productivity for our membership. This commitment to our grower’s future is unparalleled within our industry."
"As a result, although the economic environment remains uncertain, I am confident that our co-operative model will continue to deliver the best proposition to consumers, retailers and most importantly of all to our growers."