Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc., Watsonville, Calif., has started a new company in Australia through a joint venture with Costa Exchange Ltd.

Called Driscoll’s of Australia, the new company opened April 1 and has the exclusive rights to the berry genetics of both companies as well as the Driscoll’s brand name and trademark.

The deal will, for the first time, provide Australian retailers with year-round supplies of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, said Peter McPherson, general manager of BerryExchange, a CostaExchange subsidiary.

“This can only be a positive for the Australian consumer,” he said. “Over time, we are confident that Driscoll’s Australia will create the first true branded ‘berry patch’ in Australia.”

Driscoll's launches Australian company
Driscoll's launches Australian company

BerryExchange will continue to market its blueberries under its current brands outside Australia, McPherson said.

Russell Allwell is managing director of the new company, according to a Driscoll’s news release, and has worked for companies like Kraft Foods Inc., Simplot, Berri, and George Weston Foods in the past.

Driscoll’s of Australia allows both Driscoll’s and Costa Exchange to offer strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries in Australia and Asia, according to the release.

Costa Exchange Ltd. is one of Australia’s largest growers, packers and distributors of fresh fruit and vegetables with 40 locations around Australia, according to the release.