We want to be an active party in the development of a better world, which is why, for a long period of time, we have carried out several works to benefit the population, and intervened in spaces related to education, health, and the environment. The core of our business model is developing an activity with specific measures that benefits the life quality of our collaborators, their families, and the communities of which we are part.
In Hortifrut we are convinced that education is the main path towards development. Therefore, we have challenged ourselves to contribute in improving conditions and availability of tools for teenagers and children from rural communities close to our plants and orchards to have access to high-quality education.
Since 2018, we are developing a support program for rural school libraries in the communities close to our operations, performing diverse interventions aimed to create study areas that favor learning for children and teenagers. The works include from painting the areas to installing furniture, wall information boards, signage, educational material, books, among many others.
Among the initiatives we highlight:
Another project from the educational area is the alliance we subscribed with El Vergel Agricultural High School from Angol, which includes a series of initiatives that support students’ learning.
From 2010 to date, the students of this institution have performed their professional internships at Hortifrut.
Likewise, we organize technical visits to the Virquenco crop and packing plant for students, for them to know, on site, the different stages of the process of blueberry packaging and distribution.
In this context, in June 2019 we held the 1st Agricultural Innovation Contest, in which the students participated with their ideas about entrepreneurship related to the agribusiness, being invited to participate in the 3rd Hortifrut Technology and Innovation Fair.
Taking into account that the Internet nowadays is a means for accessing information, at Hortifrut we supply free internet access signal for the Virquenco and El Tartaro communities, which have difficulties accessing high-quality Internet connection due to their location.
The education as a tool for development is very important. At Hortifrut, we allocate our training tax exemption surplus to the Labor Scholarships Program, oriented to improve work skills and provide easy access to employment or productive activities to less qualified workers or people seeking their first job.
Along many years we have supported beneficiaries from different social institutions, who take diverse training courses with these funds, from small business management to more technical trainings, such as warehouse operator, basic computer skills, customer assistance, cooking, among others.
Among these contributions it is worth mentioning:
In 2013 we created the Mobile Dental Hospital, which provides dental care services for communities in rural areas where access to healthcare professionals is difficult.
Besides, this program offers free education on dental care and hygiene to our collaborators and their families, in particular to harvesters’ children.
Along seven years of existence, it has provided services to around 2,000 people, from which 966 are children and 938 are adults from the different Hortifrut crops and plants throughout Chile.
Thinking about the well-being of future generations, at Hortifrut one of our corporate commitments is having a positive impact on environmental care. Therefore we develop many activities in that line.
One of the action lines in terms of environmental care is the deployment of greenhouses and composters in rural schools and orchards from communities, that are also trained for producing organic crops.
In order to provide, encourage, and support the Mapuche peasant community, we donated 6,700 raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry plants to the Rewe Ltda. Peasant Cooperative of Mapuche Fruit Producers.
With them, we support the community as an authorized producer to plant and harvest these varieties in the Coihue area, Cholchol District, Araucania Region.
During 2018 we started an Inclusion and Diversity program, which aims to create a more inclusive culture within the company, striving for equal opportunities and social inclusion for people with disabilities.
Although we already had this kind of initiatives in place, this project aimed at a greater scope, for which we pushed an internal campaign based on creating awareness, informing, and encouraging our collaborators to be part of this new perspective.
As a first step, we developed an online assessment survey for our collaborators, in order to become aware of the company’s current reality, identifying improvement opportunities and creating initiatives to close the gaps. As a second step, we invited our collaborators to become ambassadors and leaders of the program, to have a more effective reach to the different production units.
In addition, we created a flexible benefit program, focused on promoting good quality of life and well-being of our collaborators with disabilities. Among the initiatives it includes, it is worth mentioning the complementary healthcare insurance payment, time off within their working hours for health examinations and appointments, remote working, and deferred schedules.
Each year, together with our collaborators, we perform the “Tree of Your Dreams” campaign. With the support of Desafio Levantemos Chile, we sponsor foster homes, kindergartens, or schools in vulnerable areas for Christmas celebration, where besides donating presents for each child, volunteers spend the day and share the Christmas celebration with the children.
In that context, we have sponsored Mi Pequeño Mundo Kindergarten, from the Maule Region, Santiago Apostol School, from the Metropolitan Region, and the Cordillera Nevada Chaqueihua Rural School, from Hornopiren.
As part of our spirit as a company, we promote corporate volunteering, encouraging our collaborators to take actions oriented to the well-being of vulnerable communities.
In that line, we have made alliances with different NGOs, among them the “Proyecta UC” NGO, with whom we hold a volunteer program oriented to the construction of community facilities such as neighborhood venues, facilities for the elderly, and playgrounds.
Besides, the company made a contribution to purchase the materials for different initiatives carried out within the frame of this project.
Likewise, we have developed different corporate volunteering instances for the construction of warehouses, greenhouses, and remodeling of educational facilities in rural schools located in communities close to Hortifrut operations.
Since its foundation, having a positive impact on the community has been essential for Hortifrut, and in that line sports have been a key pillar.
In 2004, the Moller family created the “Virquenco Social and Cultural Foundation”, with the purpose of improving quality of life for the people living in the communities where Hortifrut is present. Along these years, countless sport activities have been carried out, engaging children in rural soccer championships, competing across the country and supported by professional coaches, thus keeping them focused on a healthy activity, meeting other children, and keeping them away from bad habits or other social risks.
Since 2015, Hortifrut sponsors Cristian Strap, a young sportsperson who practices mountain bike, cross-country specialty. Currently, he is ranked in the 6th position nationwide, and he is focused on being top one in Chile.
In addition, in 2018 a monetary contribution to the National Paralympic Basketball League was made, in order to support the championship which took place in December that year, in the city of Concepcion, Chile.
We will keep on developing activities and promoting sports nationwide among our collaborators, their families, and the communities where we operate.
In 2004, we created the Virquenco Corporation, aimed to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants from Villa Virquenco, a place where the largest organic blueberry plantation of the company is located, where most of the people work on harvesting and maintenance of the crop.
The Corporation is focused on cultural, social, and economic aspects, benefiting more than 180 people, including children and adults.
In order to promote a healthy lifestyle and sports, we maintain a soccer school, fun gymnastics workshops, and open and free access to a gym.
At psychosocial level, the Corporation made a social worker available for the community, who supports and eases the access to social benefits in terms of education, retirement funds, and housing, among others.
Finally, in terms of culture, the Corporation, from its inception, has sought to keep Chilean traditions alive, supporting folklore by means of a group called “Raices de Virquenco”.