Kakuzi strikes deal with US firm in diversification plans – Business Daily
Entrance of Kakuzi PLC offices in Muranga County. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG
Listed agricultural firm Kakuzi has partnered with US-based berries marketing company Driscoll’s to export blueberry as part of its diversification strategy.
The partnership will see Kakuzi export the produce to the European, the Middle and Far East markets.
Kakuzi managing director Chris Flowers said 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 crop.
“Growing superfoods is what we do and adding blueberries to our core crops of avocados and macadamia will help Kakuzi to diversify its operations even further for the benefit of our shareholders. Having Driscoll’s here is exciting, they bring a wealth of knowledge to us, and we look forward to our journey together,” he said.
In the 2021/22 period, Kakuzi 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,” Mr Flowers said.
Garland Reiter, vice president of global blueberry leadership for Driscoll’s, said the developments at Kakuzi heralded the dawn of blueberry exports to the international market.
“Driscoll’s is proud to be associated with Kakuzi, and we hope that the current production volumes will be significantly scaled up as this is an opportunity to grow the volume of blueberries produced in Kenya and to grow the regional demand for this superfood,” said Mr Reiter.
Driscoll’s is the global market leader in fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
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.