From day one, genetic innovation was at the forefront of Chilean berry giant Hortifrut. The company pioneered the introduction of berry genetics into Chile and South America to supply North America, Europe and Asia in the off-season.
“There were simply no berries available during winter in the Northern Hemisphere. No-one was shipping berries from the Southern Hemisphere,” says Nicolas Moller, now Hortifrut’s Executive Vice President. “We used to harvest raspberries during the summers seven days a week.” Now, the company is known globally for having one of the leading genetic programs for berries.
In May 2021, Hortifrut announced a research and development partnership with New Jersey-based virtual farming operation AeroFarms. “We have seen an incredible evolution in the berry industry, moving from traditional farming to more controlled environments. This improves the efficiencies of water usage and labor,” Nicolas says.
“The technology that Hortifrut has been developing will transition the way we farm to more futuristic semi-controlled environments operated by computers. As a result, the production per acre is exponentially higher.”