Hortifruit buys non-controlling stake in Portuguese berry producer - FreshFruitPortal.com

Hortifruit buys non-controlling stake in Portuguese berry producer

Hortifruit, a leader in fresh and frozen berry production and commercialization, has reached a deal to buy a minority stake in Portuguese company BFruit.

BFruit is one of the main producers of berries - in particular, raspberries - in Portugal. The agreement is part of Hortifruit's strategy to expand its berry sales in Europe.

BFruit, an organization of growers known for its use of advanced technological and environmentally-friendly approaches, is in line with Hortifruit's commitment to sustainability. Recognized for its high quality production and innovative packing and supply chain practices, the standards of BFruit are high, says Hortifruit.

"In recent years, Bfruit has committed to developing berry production in Portugal to offer our producers the possibility of cultivating the best berries at the highest possible standards in terms of both quality and sanitary conditions," says Fernanda Machado, CEO of Bfruit.

"We are sending fruit of the highest quality and best flavor to markets since the inception of Bfruit. The company has added value for growers and our partners and this new integration will make our position even better in berry markets around the world."

Hortifruit's plan to integrate BFruit

Euroberry, Hortifruit's commercial platform, will market and sell all of BFruit's berries in Europe. This will increase volumes in Hortifruit's vertically integrated business platform - ensuring that supplies are consistent throughout the year for Hortifruit's customers.

This also means that Hortifruit will bring new berry varieties into production faster and introduce them into commercial markets. As markets across the world have expressed higher demand for raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, Hortifruit sees this as an opportunity to create its own varietal breeding programs to meet this growing demand.

"We are very proud of this deal because it will make our current vertically integrated business platform even better - benefiting all of our clients in Europe by providing berries from a diverse set of origins and, of course, offering BFruit's berries," explains CEO of Hortifruit Juan Ignacio Allende.

"In particular, this will allow us to increase the level of service in regards to raspberries in the short term. High-quality raspberries will be offered year-round in the medium term and in the long term - we will be developing our own varieties of raspberries and blackberries in Portugal with the experience and knowledge that BFruit producers offer. We're looking to have new plantations of fruit this year - in 2020."