After years of collaboration with Stonefly, the blueberry specialist has set up its own nursery in Ñuble, headed by Ernesto Pino
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery is to open a nursery in Chile’s Ñuble region 400km south of Santiago, thereby consolidating its commitment to the country’s blueberry industry.
The nursery, which is under construction and due to open next year, will be managed by Ernesto Pino and is expected to employ around 70 permanent workers.
Fall Creek has played a fundamental role in Chile’s blueberry industry since its inception in the early 1980s, introducing the first plantations in collaboration with pioneers in the sector, such as the Zegers, Romero, Mollers and DeBlasis families.
For the past 14 years, the Brazelton family, founders of Fall Creek, have collaborated closely with the Goycoolea family of Grupo Hijuelas and their Stonefly nursery in Chile, providing quality blueberry plants and varieties and supporting blueberry growers and industry. in Chile.
“Both companies agreed that the time was right for Fall Creek to establish a more active presence in Chile,” said Cort Brazelton, co-CEO of Fall Creek, of the amicable business separation.
“Fall Creek strongly believes in the future of the Chilean industry as a crucial supplier for the supply of high quality and competitive blueberries during the Northern Hemisphere winter.
“Maintaining growth by being competitive will take time and investment, we are committed to being present and we have a great confidence in the potential of the current and future genetics that we will introduce to serve Chile and others around the world. We are grateful to Grupo Hijuelas and Stonefly for their support and look forward to continuing our friendship and collaboration in the transition to this new model of support for the evolving Chilean blueberry industry.”
To lead the development of Fall Creek Chile, the company has hired Ernesto Pino, an industry professional with 30 years of senior management experience in the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables with national and multinational companies inside and outside Chile.
Recently, he was general director of agricultural projects for Grupo Hansa in Chile and Peru. Prior to that he was general manager of Del Monte Fresh Produce Chile and director of supply chain for Vital Berry Marketing, where he lived the Fall Creek experience as a client. Pino reports to Ricardo Polis, Fall Creek’s regional director for South America.
“At Fall Creek, we go where our customers grow,” said Polis. “We are excited about producing new varieties and supporting growers in Chile and ultimately supporting our clients’ success in international markets.
“I look forward to working with Ernesto to complete construction of the new nursery and office facility in Chile and develop the team to serve the industry. He is an experienced and capable manager who thinks strategically and fits well with our company culture.”
Pino commented: “Fall Creek has always impressed me with the way they run the business. We have the technical talent of this region and the support of the global Fall Creek team to help us succeed. I am excited to build the team, validate the new varieties and increase the competitiveness of Chilean growers.”