Supply chain provider Gist has extended its services for soft fruit producer Berry Gardens after 20 years of working with the business.

The new service will see Gist handle primary distribution of fresh produce to Sainsbury’s in the West Midlands.

Gist chief executive Martin Gwynn said: “We are very pleased to be developing our long standing partnership with Berry Gardens. By delivering outstanding service and innovation, Gist continues to support our customers in the important fruit and produce sector.”

The new service follows a 130% increase in demand for berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, grown in the UK over the past four years.

Gist predicts it will be especially busy over the coming months, with events such as Wimbledon and the Henley Regatta traditionally boosting demand for strawberries.

Duncan Mills, supply chain director at Berry Gardens, said: "Gist's collaborative approach has enabled us to reduce food miles whilst maintaining service to our customers."