Kenyan-listed agri-business firm, Kakuzi PLC, has entered into a partnership with Driscoll’s, the world’s leading marketer of berries, to grow the local and export volumes of blueberries.
Driscoll’s is the global market leader in fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
While confirming the blueberry export plans, Kakuzi PLC Managing Director Chris Flowers said a Driscoll’s market evaluation team conducted a fact-finding tour of the firm’s orchards in Makuyu, Murang’a county, early this week.
Renown as the trusted brand for only the finest berries, Driscoll’s is evaluating the possibility of importing premium Kakuzi Blueberries to the European, Middle, and Far East markets and further developing regional sales.
Speaking from Makuyu, Chris Flowers said that the commercial blueberry trials that commenced two years ago had returned some exciting outcomes that will guide the firm’s future investments and expansion for the particular crop.
In the last financial year, the agri-business disclosed that the firm’s Blueberry production had grown in the previous financial year. The current blueberry production has been fully sold in the local and export markets.
“Kakuzi’s pilot commercial trials have done what they were meant to do, and we have learned a lot in preparation for our future expansion plans in this blueberry venture,” Chris Flowers.
On his part, Garland Reiter, The Vice President of Global Blueberry Leadership for Driscoll’s, said that the developments at Kakuzi heralded the dawn of blueberry exports to the international market.
Whilst congratulating Kakuzi and lauding the support of the Kenyan and Chinese authorities for enabling Kenyan avocados to be exported to China, Reiter said that Driscoll’s is looking forward to the possibility of exporting Kenyan Blueberries to China.
Within Kakuzi’s revenue diversification strategy, the firm is set to continue developing a range of additional value-added consumer products for the domestic and regional markets.
Such products include frozen and ready-to-eat blueberries and high-quality roasted macadamia snacks sold in local supermarkets and greengrocery retail stores.