Berry industry visionary Víctor Moller Schiavetti mourned
Víctor Moller Schiavetti, the president and founder of Hortifrut S.A., died Oct. 19 at the age of 79.
The International Blueberry Organization said Mr. Moller’s contribution to the development of the global berry industry is immense. In 1983 he founded Hortifrut, which has become one of the world’s largest berry grower-marketers and has played a vital role in paving the way for exports from Chile to global markets. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he received widespread recognition for his vision, care for the company’s employees and ability to innovate and build long-lasting partnerships.
Mr. Moller pioneered exports of blueberries from Chile to the United States, being instrumental in the development of the berry category. By supplying North American consumers with fruit in the winter months that they had only previously been able to eat in the summer, he made a huge contribution to the increase in blueberry consumption in the market. He continued to take the industry to new heights by pioneering the introduction of new genetics and sustainable growing practices.
Under his wise leadership, Hortifrut has become one of the largest blueberry sales platforms in the world, and the second-largest in the overall berries category thanks to long-lasting partnerships with growers around the world and through the co-founding of Naturipe Farms. In 2008, Hortifrut became the largest producer of organic blueberries in the world, winning the Produce Marketing Association's Marketer of the Year Award. Today, the company employs more than 55,000 people globally and is present in 35 countries, with offices in the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Spain — among others.
“The global berry industry will forever be indebted to Victor Moller,” said Peter McPherson, president of the IBO. “He was a true visionary and pioneer, and his legacy will live on forever. In blueberries, he helped elevate the category to where it is today, and the IBO thanks him for his long-standing service to the industry. He will be missed.”