Chile’s Casablanca Organics is boosting its range of organic topfruit with the introduction of Forelle and Abate Fetel pears. The company is in the process of certifying its pear production as organic and until then they will be marketed as 100 per cent free of pesticide residues.
“The organic topfruit segment is particularly attractive for families wishing to purchase healthy fruit at affordable prices,” president Nicolás Pérez told Fruitnet.
Having tripled its export volume in the past three years the company is seeking new customers in Europe and will at next month’s Fruit Logistica to forge new business relationships as well as strengthen ties with existing customers. In particular, Pérez said it targeting small and medium-sized specialist organic stores keen to source direct from growers.
“Europe is a natural market for us given the high level of awareness of its consumers for healthy products grown in a sustainable way,” Pérez said. “Last year we shipped about 70 per cent of our total production to Europe and as our volume continues to grow we are looking for new customers and new ways to market our fruit, including organic juices and apple slices.”
Based in the Casablanca valley in Chile’s Valparaíso region, Casablanca Organics was founded by Emilio Fernandez and his wife, both doctors, so convinced of the health benefits of organic fruit that he decided to set up his own farm. Today the company produces and exports a range of organic apple varieties to Europe and the US.
“We believe organic is healthier and protects our environment. That’s why my wife and I decided to get involved,” Fernandez said. “We’re doctors, and for us there is no doubt that nutrition is one of the most important factors in health.”
Fernandez is one of the pioneers of organic fruit cultivation in Chile and in 1999 he was a founding member of the Chilean Organic Agriculture Association.