Víctor Moller Schiavetti, chair and founder of Hortifrut S.A., passed away Oct. 19 at the age of 79. Moller founded Hortifrut, now one of the world’s largest blueberry operations, and over the course of his career received recognition nationally and internationally for his global vision of business and partnerships, ability to build strong teams, contributions to innovation and technology in agribusiness, unwavering commitment to sustainability and care for his people.
Since the early 1980s, Moller was at the forefront in introducing genetics, production and sales of berries from Chile to the United States, turning Hortifrut into one of the leading Chilean companies and taking a global approach toward business, while incorporating technological innovation and sustainability.
Moller was the first person to export berries to the United States from South America, which provided a counter-seasonal partnership with domestic producers that has served to secure year-round shelf space for blueberries in produce departments throughout the country. Over the years, Hortifrut has become the largest blueberry sales platform in the world, and the second largest in the overall berries category via partnerships with growers worldwide and through the co-founding of Naturipe Farms.
Victor belonged to the fourth generation of the Moller family, of Danish origins, which had been devoted to agriculture in the Biobío Region of Chile since 1830. He worked with his father at the Negrete farm, always remaining faithful to the Moller spirit in developing the family business across generations.
Moller launched Hortifrut in 1983 at the family farm in Virquenco, Los Angeles, where he and his wife, Ana María, raised their three children, later inviting them to join him in developing the company and fulfilling his dream of making Hortifrut the world leader in berries and carrying out his vision of “delivering berries to the world, every day.”
Moller was joined on the road to making Hortifrut a leading company – which today is present in over 35 countries, employs over 55,000 people, operates jointly with over 600 producers globally and has partnerships on five continents – by his world-class leadership team and network of local and international partners who “joined hands to conquer the world” (one of Moller’s catchphrases) to achieve his dream.