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Why AgriForce wants to acquire Berry People

AgriForce has made the headlines quite a few times recently. The company indeed went on an acquisition spree tailored to creating a business that tackles the full extent of the supply chain. With Deroose and Delphy, AgriFORCE wanted to add unique knowledge to its portfolio. As AgriForce explained, the expertise, knowledge, and IPs coming with those acquisitions are going to benefit every part of the company. The organization is indeed divided into two main branches: Brands, focused on more consumer-oriented products, and Solutions, which are aimed at producers.

Berry People to join AgriFORCE family
However, AgriForce continues to pursue its vision. At the beginning of this year, the company announced the signing of a letter of intent to acquire Berry People. Now, what’s the rationale for that? “The berry segment has constantly been growing, recently,” says Mauro Pennella, President of Brands and CMO at AgriForce. “It is a 7 billion dollar business, which we expect to grow up to 21 billion in North America alone. It goes without saying that there’s a lot of demand in that space. And that’s how we got to Berry People.”

Mauro continues to explain that Berry People has certain characteristics that makes it a great addition to the AgriForce family, the first of which being the potential synergies with other companies owned by AgriForce. “From our standpoint, Berry People has a strong market presence and logistics, which we could benefit from,” says Mauro. “At the same time, Berry People is the perfect match for Delphy. The expertise and the knowledge, especially in soft fruits that they have acquired over time, can be extremely beneficial to Berry people.” That aside, it’s important to consider that Berry People is itself a thriving and growing operation. “It is absolutely managed by very good people and has an aggressive plan of growth that we can further support to better seize opportunities.”

All about synergy
All in all, the acquisition of Berry People potentially allows AgriForce to further maximize profitability across the supply chain, “Especially when it comes to sourcing berries to from different areas, such as Mexico, for instance.” Of course, it’s not all about increasing the market share. The acquisition in the process of Deroose provides additional synergies with Berry People. “This match-up could help in the future accelerate the creation of our own varieties,” Mauro points out.

“Not only when it comes to supplying their final products to customers, but also to supply those varieties to other growers, with better knowledge and best practices.” Thus, it’s quite clear that the company division of Brands and Solutions doesn’t work as if they were in a vacuum, “Rather, one feeds into the other, and vice versa,” says Mauro. “Solutions is more the tech side of it, but this tech is used to feed into and help Brands.”

AgriForce's bullish strategy is carried out after careful consideration of what would be the best for consumers and the market as a whole. “It takes time to select the right business,” Mauro remarks. “At the same time, it gives us the chance to monitor and understand the business in question much better. We spend time with the CEO and with the growers and discuss the business. This is also because the people that run said the company will remain in the company because they have the knowledge we are acquiring.”

The spree is not over yet, and AgriForce is looking to gain a presence all along the supply chain. “In the future, a potential way to expand the business will be, of course, looked at, both for the Brands and the Solutions spaces of AgriForce,” Mauro concludes.

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