Participants actively engaged in three master classes led by renowned industry experts Carlos Tapia, Jordi Casas, and Walter Masman.
From early morning, producers, technical managers, farmers, companies, and various actors in the agribusiness sector arrived to participate in the largest cherry production gathering organized by Smartcherry and Yentzen Group.
Carlos Tapia, cherry production specialist and Co-founder of Smartcherry, brought the inaugural master class, providing a comprehensive overview of cherry production with updated figures and insightful analysis.
“The event was highly anticipated and met all of our expectations. Since we launched Smartcherry in 2018, we had planned to hold this official welcome event, but it was delayed due to the social upheaval in Chile and the pandemic. However, this has been a good time to hold it, as Smartcherry has gained recognition. Undoubtedly, the success of the event has had a significant impact on the Chilean agribusiness industry,” said Carlos Tapia, Founder and Technical Director of Avium.
Jorge Tello, Co-founder of Smartcherry, stated: “We had an incredible turnout of companies, and we are grateful for the trust placed in CherryTech. In addition to being a purely technical event, we provided a significant platform for the agribusiness industry, where different actors could engage in conversations, establish business relationships, stay updated, and engage in debates. We are left with a tremendous challenge for the coming years.”
The host of the event, Gustavo Yentzen, CEO of Yentzen Group, expressed his satisfaction with the attendance and participation, stating: “We are very pleased with the results in terms of attendance and participation. We are particularly pleased that producers had the opportunity to learn from leaders in cherry production, and that supplier companies were able to meet their commercial goals and expectations.”
The plenary session, which also featured two other master classes and three forums on nutrition, variety renewal, and post-harvest, was at full capacity. Both the master classes and discussions maintained a relaxed and dynamic atmosphere that kept the attendees engaged and offered a different format.
Claudia Soler, Executive Director of the Cherry Committee at the Fruit Exporters Association (Asoex), which sponsored the event, highlighted its importance: “It has been an event of excellent quality, covering very important topics. The aim is to work on all aspects of production that will allow us to deliver an excellent product to our destinations.” Soler, along with a national committee, has recently returned from a business trip to China, India, and Japan.
Jorge Astudillo, Production Manager at Agroindustrial Valle Arriba de Ovalle, noted, “In the north of Chile, we don’t always have access to this type of information, so these instances are crucial. Carlos Tapia’s first lecture was spectacular because it provided answers to the questions we have regarding why we produce cherries under northern conditions. It is enriching to see the reality of this region, where almost all production factors are controlled. CherryTech has undoubtedly been a tremendous contribution for us and the industry as a whole.”
An Excellent Panel
A total of 15 renowned players in the cherry industry participated in CherryTech. Among them were Jéssica Rodríguez, Post-harvest Advisor at Trío Kimün; Héctor García, Co-founder and General Manager of Diagnofruit Laboratories; Sebastián Johnson, Industrial Projects Manager at Johnson; and Juan Puntí, Production and Post-harvest Manager at Prize Exporter. They formed part of Forum 1: “Post-harvest: Key points and management experiences to prevent fruit deterioration,” moderated by fruit tree consultant Jordi Casas.
“I have a positive assessment of CherryTech; it fully met my expectations. It addressed fundamental topics related to cherry marketing and production in Chile, which undoubtedly helps the industry to continue improving. I hope to attend again next year,” said Mauricio Gutiérrez, Agronomist at Exportadora San Andrés SpA.
Forum 2: “Classic varieties and new varieties: Are we ready for renewal?” was led by advisor Walter Masman and featured panelists Samuel Venegas, Agricultural Manager at Hacienda Los Quillayes; Óscar Aliaga, Consultant and cherry specialist advisor; Matías Kulczewski, Specialist Advisor in fruit trees; and Dragomir Ljubetic, Advisor in stone fruit and table grape cultivation.
“A very good event, with excellent speakers focused on the new season and new varieties. This is more than good for us, the farmers,” commented Luis Cadiz, Agricultural Manager at Grupo Esmeralda.
Finally, Carlos Tapia served as the moderator for Forum 3: “Calcium and Potassium: Their fundamental role in productive potential, fruit quality, and condition.” This discussion featured José Ignacio Covarrubias, Master of Science and Doctor of Fruit Trees; Rodrigo Ortega, Specialist in soil fertility, plant nutrition, and precision agriculture; Valeria Lepe, Specialist Advisor in nutrition for fruit species; and Óscar Carrasco, Specialist Advisor in agriculture and professor at the University of Chile.
During the event, a special moment occurred when Cherry Tech recognized Óscar Aliaga, Founder and Technical Director of Only Cherries Consultores, for his constant contribution to cherry production in Chile.
“I was very surprised; it was unexpected but very nice, and I appreciate it. Moreover, the event featured high-level talks and impressive attendance,” concluded Óscar Aliaga.
Technology, Suppliers, and Extension
Technology was a pervasive tool in the first edition of CherryTech, which showcased extensive technical and human resources in the plenary hall, exhibition area, television studio, and the space dedicated to posters. In this latter sector, 19 interesting research studies were presented in digital format, democratizing information about cherry production.
Attendees also had access to a wide range of services and solutions for cherry production, with over 60 companies present at Cherry Tech 2023.
Undoubtedly, Cherry Tech 2023 was an unprecedented event. Over a thousand attendees were part of this unique technical gathering on cherry production, and the organizers have already confirmed its second edition for 2024.