country Hernan Garcés


The father of Chilean cherries

From ancient times to modern

In ancient Chinese lore, a magical phoenix slept on a bed of cherry blossoms to attain everlasting life. Fast forward to modern-day China, where the red, round form of the fruit signifies prosperity and the term “cherry freedom” refers to the aspirational level of financial security, the magic and symbolism of the cherry lives on. 

Thanks to China’s huge and growing appetite for the small sweet fruit, Garces Fruit, founded more than fifty-five years ago in the countryside of central Chile, has become the world’s biggest producer of cherries. 

The father of Chilean cherries

Hernan Garcés, known as the “father of Chilean cherries, joined his family’s company in 1984 at the young age of 19. A visionary fruit industry leader and innovator, Hernan has introduced new cherry varieties and modernised farming practices in Latin America, such as installing a high-density planting system, a 36-line electronic calibrator, and an automated palletizing system.  

To challenge the seasonal nature of cherries and stay one step ahead of the competition, Hernan has invested heavily in research and development to meet the evolving tastes of his customers who expect only the best tasting, freshest and highest quality fruit. Today, Garces Fruits exports over 20 million boxes every year worldwide.

A labour of love and patience

Cherries are notoriously challenging to grow, susceptible to weather and temperature swings. A true labour of love, they must be harvested by hand and processed with extreme care. Drawing on over 50 years’ experience of producing high-quality fruit, Hernan understands that maximising their potential requires patience and a long-term vision. That’s why, 35 years ago, Garces Fruit began its long and fruitful journey with UPL, helping to develop a suite of biosolutions that have been integral to their farm’s success. One such product is Pilatus, a biosolution that improves the delicate fruit’s tolerance of unfavourable growing conditions while also increasing crop yield. 

Leading with impact

As a global leader in his industry, Hernan understands his unique responsibility to lead with a sustainability-first mindset. “We are very aware of where we come from and the generosity of the land that we cultivate that has given us so much,” he says. “For this reason, the sustainability of our fields, responsible management of natural resources, especially the water that irrigates them, as well as the relationships we maintain with the communities of which we are a part, will always be our priority.”