In 1972, as a consequence of a reduction in the national distribution service provided by British Rail, berry growers in Kent were supported by the government of the day to evaluate other options to ensure their fruit reach wholesale markets in the north of England and Scotland. After reviewing the options, Produce Studies Ltd recommended that the growers formed a co-operative and collectively hired road transport. The result was the formation of Kentish Garden Ltd, which was registered as an Industrial and Friendly Provident Society.
In 1995, Kentish Garden Ltd decided to operate its own marketing company, which was called Kentish Garden Marketing Ltd, after having used a third party to sell members’ fruit to supermarket retailers in the previous two decades. The companies were renamed KG Growers Ltd and KG Fruits Ltd in 2000, to remove the parochial nature of the former name to reflect an increase in the membership and extension of the co-operative’s membership into other regions of the UK and into Scotland.
Seven years later, KG Fruits Ltd became Berry Gardens Ltd and KG Growers Ltd was renamed Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, after a decision was taken to form a tri-partite entity to join together with longstanding partners in Spain and the USA.
Since the late 1990’s, we’ve had an exclusive relationship with Driscoll’s, the world’s biggest berry company who are headquartered in Watsonville, California, USA. The varieties that they supply to us, combined with our growers’ skills, the high-quality land our farms farm and the great British weather, all combine to deliver the genuinely world-class product we supply to British consumers through most of the major supermarkets.
In 2019 we opened one of the world’s most progressive soft fruit Packhouses, with 14,000 square metres of packhouse space and cold storage, on the outskirts of Maidstone. The facility can store, pack and prepare for distribution around 60 million punnets of soft fruit each year.
In 2023 Berry Gardens Growers Ltd sold its marketing company, Berry Gardens Ltd, and including the packhouse, to Driscoll’s, the world’s leading soft fruit marketing company, so that our growers can concentrate on growing.
Life begins at Marden
Spot the good one.
Flood plan for the 1990s
KG Membership spread.