“Hortifrut Genetica” is our extensive Berry Genetic Improvement Program (PMG, by its initials in Spanish), which aims to carry out a permanent selection and develop new and improved Berries for Hortifrut, their partners, producers, commercial platforms, and final consumers.
By means of the thorough work of out expert developers, we aim to distinguish ourselves in the world Berry market with new flavors, better quality, and more attractive and healthy fruits, with a longer post-harvest life, allowing us to extend the offer dates in the global market of “Berries for the world every day”.
To achieve this, “Hortifrut Genetica” has allied with the world’s most prestigious improvement centers for Berry varieties, we have exclusive licenses of the best blueberry varieties, and have developed two Berry breeding companies, in alliance with North American producers. All of this allows us to have improved genetics in different Berry categories today. Using conventional genetic improvement, our developers carry out guided cross-breeding of outstanding varieties, accelerating and at the same time imitating nature’s process, without using GMO (artificial genetic modification), and after several thorough evaluations and tests in different parts of the world, we obtain new Berry varieties suitable for each crop condition and destination market. This entire process can last between 5 and 9 years.
In blueberries, we have the exclusive license for the best varieties: ‘Rocio’ and ‘Corona’ from the Spanish Royal Berry program for America, and ‘Draper’, ‘Aurora’, ‘Liberty’, and ‘Osorno’ from Michigan State University. For the development of new blueberry varieties, we created our own genetics company called “BerryBlue”, in alliance with the North American company “Michigan Blue Berry Growers (MBG)”, being today the biggest blueberry genetic improvement program in the world (see detail on Berry Blue).
Pacific Berry Breeding (PBB) is the genetics company in alliance with Naturipe Berry Growers based in Watsonville, California. This program is dedicated to creating raspberry and blackberry varieties for the fresh market (see detail on Pacific Berry Breeding).
We have our own selection and breeding program for blackberries. The blackberry program is focused on the creation of remontant, thornless, highly productive blackberries, with an excellent fruit quality for the fresh and frozen markets, and adapted to warm climates. ‘Camila’ and ‘Amara’ are the first two varieties in this group, of which commercial crops are grown in Chile and Mexico.
Through “Hortifrut Genetica”, we have also made incursions in Chilean Native Berries and Ornamental Berries. Murtilla (Chilean guava) and maqui (Chilean wineberry) are part of the collaboration we have accomplished with other national stakeholders.
The overhead amount for research and development projects cannot exceed 20%.
Berry Blue is the genetics company dedicated to breeding and producing new and improved blueberry varieties for Hortifrut.
Created over one decade ago by Hortifrut and Michigan Blueberry Growers (MBG), Berry Blue develops new and improved blueberries using genetics and conventional breeding, with guided cross-breeding between the best varieties, without using GMO (artificial genetic modification). Focused in fruit quality for the fresh market, Berry Blue’s breeders and developers’ team carefully selects the best blueberry plants, which meet the high standards of each demanding market of our fruit.
With assessment and test stations in the USA, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and China, Berry Blue works selecting genotypes for all the different environments and climates, from the tropical regions in Peru, subtropical areas in Mexico, temperate zones in Chile, Florida and Georgia, to the coldest areas of Michigan and the south of Chile, thus ensuring a permanent supply of delicious blueberries for the world.
‘Prelude’, ‘Daybreak’, ‘Stellar’, ‘Candycrunch’, ‘Apolo’, ‘Bliss’, ‘Temptation’, ‘Robust’, ‘Envy’, ‘Keepsake’, and ‘Sensation’ are the first varieties by Berry Blue LLC. Exclusive for Hortifrut, MBG, and their producers, these varieties are intended to raise the current growing standards for blueberries in our orchards and those of our producers.
RASPBERRIES AND BLACKBERRIES
Pacific Berry Breeding (PBB) is the genetics company dedicated to genetic improvement and production of new raspberry and blackberry varieties, to ensure our commitment of “Berries for the world every day”.
Created over a decade ago, PBB is aimed to create and develop new and improved raspberry and blackberry varieties for the fresh market. Using conventional genetics, accelerating and at the same time imitating the same process that occurs in nature, without using GMO (artificial genetic modification), our developers hunt and select on site the best raspberry plants, that meet our high-quality standards, as well as those of our clients and consumers.
‘Pacific Deluxe’, ‘Pacific Royale’, ‘Pacific Majesty’, ‘Pacific Scarlet’, and ‘Pacific Gema’ are some of the Hortifrut raspberry varieties produced by PBB.
Grown in our own fields and those of our producers in the USA, Mexico, Chile, and Spain, these varieties are exclusive to Hortifrut and their producers.
This program develops varieties specialized in raspberries and blackberries, using traditional breeding methods in our research centers in California and Mexico. This means that each flower is hand-pollinated to develop new production seeds for the next season, looking for crossings that enhance the best production and fruit quality features. The new selections are evaluated annually according to the features sought in our test centers around the world, where we invite clients and producers to try the new selections, and if the production or quality beats others and we believe as a company that clients will prefer it, a new variety is born. Developing a new variety usually takes 7–10 years.
As a global genetic improvement company, PBB strives to develop disease-resistant plants that produce berries with exceptional taste, color, transport capacity, and post-harvest features.