Hernandorena: a reference in the kaki sector

Besides its importance in kaki plants, Hernandorena is a pioneer in the nursery production of potted fruit tree. 

Rosa Hernandorena, the company’s commercial director, explains “it is a new product with which we believe has a lot of potential and although we are already selling it, we are still engaged with the research process, finalising small details.”

The company has different sales formats: the potted plant (a convenient format for the grower, with a compact plant and easy to hand) and the bare root (plants grown in field nurseries), which can be considered as a mixture production system of the former two, and has the advantages of both the other formats.

In terms of volume, the most important format is the pot, as it can be machined and controlled from a health point of view, in contrast to bare root which is a traditional crop, heavily dependent of the weather.

The company sells around half a million fruit plants and from them; the kaki is the star product representing 20% of their production and sales. Other products include almond, nectarine, plum, apricot, olive and quince (the latter with a production of 10,000 plants represents a high percentage of the entire Spanish crop).

Since the last four years, the volume of sold kaki plants has become a mainstay. However, the sales manager points out that “we will not increase the production and we will keep it around 100,000 plants. We are prepared for when this minority crop begins to be a majority one, and I firmly believe in the market abilities of the Spanish dealers”

Cultivation of Rojo Brillante can be done using two rootstocks, Lotus and Virginiana produced in equal amounts by the company. “In this area, the original land of kaki, growers prefer Lotus, which works well with the cultivation practices used in the area. In other larger areas we can usually find Virginiana”

The main sales area is concentrated around the region of La Ribera (Valencia), resulting from the high support that has had the kaki under the Denomination of Origin Ribera del Xúquer seal (Denominación de Origen Ribera del Xúquer). Other areas where it can be found are Andalusia, Italy, (where it is sold through a distributor) and Morocco.

Regarding the latter country, Hernandorena explains that “we have test orders that are bigger than what is planted here in Valencia due to the large size of their estates. We believe that production of northern Morocco could be a cause of concern in a few years”

Hernandorena also has contracts of propagation from certain Spanish breeders of early fruit plants .(Selecciones Doñana, Plantinova, International Plant Seleccion y PSB Producción Vegetal-Buffat), as well as experimentation contracts for varieties from Viveros Provedo.