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19 September 2023


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We are part of the change in the stone fruit sector: new varieties, consolidated agronomically and with flavour, commercial formats to contain costs, and adapted to new production systems, where hedgerows are beginning to become a reality.Immersed in a new stone fruit season, the growing and marketing sector seems to be experiencing a new momentum today, largely due to the fact that it has hit rock bottom during the last few seasons. The betting on erroneous and unconsolidated varieties depending on the production areas, the excess of volumes in some cases, and the lack of commercial planning, led the stone fruit sector to a necessary restructuring, and today it seems to be starting to bear fruit.

This is how it is experienced in Viveros Hernandorena, a company specialised in stone fruit trees, which has not been exempt from making a mea culpa and turning its attention to offering not only flavourful and consolidated varieties, but also plants with economic sales formats to cushion the high production costs as far as possible, guaranteeing maximum plant health and even looking towards production systems where mechanisation and robotisation are becoming more and more important.

"Everyone in the stone fruit sector, including ourselves, has analysed what we had done wrong. This has led us to reorganise, rebalance and become more professional, which has put us at a good starting point to recover our position in stone fruit production and sales and, above all, to satisfy consumer demand", explains Rosa Hernandorena, Sales Director.

Although a decade ago, the proliferation of varieties without contrasts and with very questionable flavour and brix degrees were in the spotlight as one of the factors responsible for the deterioration of the sector, today it is precisely the new varieties that are arousing the most excitement. "We are working with breeders such as PSB who are putting high flavour, consolidated materials on the market in a gradual way to avoid the imbalances of yesteryear", explains the Sales Director, alluding, for example, to a new range of platerinas which will be available for sale next year and which stand out for their flavour, brix degrees and lack of cracking, among other aspects.  In addition to PSB and IPS, Viveros Hernandorena also has a new licence for the multiplication of Geoplant plants, with excellent nectarine varieties such as Gea and Febe and they are in the process of obtaining this licence from Cot Internacional.

But this nursery is not only investing in varieties with flavour, but also in plants that are highly focused on new production systems, such as hedgerow fruit trees. "The idea is to implement in stone fruit trees the planting model that is already being used in olive and almond orchards. Narrower planting frames, with trees in hedgerow formation, which allow mechanisation and robotisation of the farm. The aim is to make the fields more profitable, more efficient", Rosa Hernandorena adds. In this sense, they work together with Agromillora with the Rootpac 40 rootstock, which allows them to control the vigour of the plants and to adapt to this type of hedgerow farms, especially for early and mid-season varieties.

Sales formats

Viveros Hernandorena is also adapting its sales formats to customer demand. Although they continue with the C11 pot, the marketing of bare root fruit plants is gaining in volume. "Bare root allows us to have a larger volume of plants available, while at the same time offering a more economical format", comments the Sales Director, pointing out that, thanks to this format, they hope to soon exceed 250,000 fruit plants sold annually.

This nursery also has a 7×7 format for stone fruit trees: this is the same pot where the micro-grafts are grown, which is trellised and a pre-formed mini-plant is delivered, and is very focused on large farms and hedgerow formations, where the planting framework is denser.

And all this, with the maximum guarantees that Viveros Hernandorena brings together under its seal of Varietal Reliability, under which they offer varietal authenticity, that is, they guarantee 100% homogeneity of the plant material that is used; varietal adaptability, that the variety is proven and consolidated agronomically and is also stable; and varietal health, guaranteeing the control of pests and diseases from the initial material to the final sale of the plant. "We do 100% of the grafted material in our facilities, which allows us to have absolute control over the traceability of all the material and to be able to respond to the demands of our clients at any time", Rosa Hernandorena affirms".

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