Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc., an international blueberry breeding and nursery company is increasing its commitment to the Chilean blueberry industry with the development of a dedicated nursery and has announced Ernesto Pino Visinteiner as its general manager. Construction is underway on the nursery site in the Ñuble region, a hub of agricultural innovation about 400 kilometers south of Santiago, where the company expects to employ about 70 permanent staff by 2023.
Fall Creek has played a role in launching Chile's blueberry industry, beginning with some of the first plantings in the early 1980s and teaming with recognized industry pioneers, including the Zegers, Romero, Mollers, and DeBlasis families. For the past 14 years, the Brazelton family, founders of Fall Creek, have worked closely with the Goycoolea family of Grupo Hijuelas and its Stonefly Nursery in Chile to bring high-quality blueberry plants and varieties to support growers and the blueberry industry in Chile.
"Both companies agreed the time was right for Fall Creek to establish a more active presence in Chile," says Fall Creek Co-CEO Cort Brazelton of their amicable business separation. "Fall Creek strongly believes in the future of the Chilean industry as a critical supplier for high quality, competitive blueberry supply throughout the northern hemisphere winter."
Right: Ernesto Pino Visinteiner.
To lead the development of Fall Creek Chile, the company has hired an industry veteran who understands its grower customers and the supply chain in general. Pino has 30 years of senior management experience in commercial fruit and vegetable production and marketing with national and multinational companies in and outside Chile.
"At Fall Creek, we go where our customers grow," says Polis. "We are excited to produce new varieties and bring increased assistance to the growers of Chile and ultimately support our customers' success in international markets."
"Fall Creek always impressed me with the way they drive the business," says Pino. "We have the support of Fall Creek's global team to help us succeed here in Chile, and we also have access to technical talent in this region. I'm excited to build the team, validate our new varieties and increase the competitiveness of Chilean growers."