Some mates with … Vivero San Nicolás SA

06 Apr 2020

We chatted with Ing. Agr. Gerardo Ontanilla, implementer of Vivero San Nicolás S.A., who produce plants of a wide variety of horticultural species and different producers that provide additional benefits in their crops.

-Where is the company located?

The company is located in the Junín department, Mendoza province. This town is 50 km east of the provincial capital.

-How did the company come about?

Don Víctor Hugo Barroso began to carry out his first experiments on an experimental basis in the early 90s, Don Víctor had spent many years of his life making tomato fields and knew very well the problems that arose when transplanting. At that time the seedling did not exist as we know it today, but each producer had to make his own seedlings in plots and then transplant them with bare roots, losing a large number of them, in some cases cultivation being unfeasible and losing efficiency. The producers very satisfied after knowing the first seedlings did not hesitate to change forever with the old methodology, starting a company known as Vivero San Nicolás S.A. which was growing year after year.

– Since when did they turn to the production of vegetable seedlings?

The nursery was born as a seedling producer back in 1990, and it was modernized and improved over time until today it became the first nursery in Argentina to certify quality standards.

-What were your motivations?

At the beginning the motivations were only to produce a plant that eliminated direct sowing, today we are also aiming to literally solve all the problems that the producer has when starting his crops, from the purchase of the seeds to putting them in his field of the seedlings on the required dates. In this sense, we can say that the company’s motivations are the same as for almost 30 years ago, solving problems for the producer, giving tranquility and confidence when ordering their seedlings, providing them with a scheduled delivery service on the farm. The nursery is in charge of carrying out all the logistics of delivering seedlings and removing empty trays from the plots, we have trucks and drivers specialized in this task so that the product travels safely and is delivered at the agreed time.

-What products do you sell?

The Nursery Garden since its inception has the ability to produce almost any horticultural species that is made on the market today. Currently our most commercialized products are tomato seedlings for industry and onion seedlings for seeds, in addition we also produce seedlings of pepper, eggplant, celery, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, melon, watermelon, squash, asparagus, cauliflower, among others.

-What is your production process?

Our process follows a phased production flow diagram with control points, always respecting traceability from start to finish in the field of our finished product.

Within the order of the production process different steps are taken, when a programmed order is entered, a sowing order is generated where the species to be sown is detailed with quantities and other data that make the strict control of traceability Once the sowing manager receives the “sowing order” is arranged to be carried out in accordance with all the requirements indicated by the client. At the end of sowing the trays advance to a germination chamber where they spend a certain time depending on the species with controlled humidity and temperature. From there they go directly to the greenhouses where they will receive from our Agricultural Engineer, Gustavo Martínez, a specific fertilization and phytosanitary plan and they will be developed until reaching a stipulated level. Once they are ready, they are wrapped and stowed with a specific palletizing machine for this task and they are loaded onto the trucks to be delivered on time and in accordance with what has been previously agreed with each producer.

-What presentations do you come in?

Currently our products are mostly marketed in polystyrene trays, but we also have to a lesser extent thermoformed trays, the presentations of which range from 128 seedlings per tray (being one of the largest cell sizes) to 400 seedlings by trays, the latter occupied mainly for the manufacture of industrial tomato.

-What channels were you targeting?

We commercialize our production with independent producers, producer associations, agri-food industry

-What ratings do you have?

For several years now, the company has been registered with both the National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (SENASA) and the National Seed Institute (INASE) for reasons of handling propagation products.

-What was the motivation to certify GLOBAL.G.A.P?

How did you carry out the Implementation process? The reason for certification with GLOBAL.G.A.P. was to give a quality seal to the company, ordering each of the processes to establish more and better control points. We knew from the beginning that it would be a difficult but not impossible task and that is how we all got involved with the mission of certifying with the weight, but at the same time excited about being the only Nursery Garden in the country to achieve this distinction. The process began by hiring Gerardo Ontanilla who is an Agricultural Engineer specialized in Implementation of Quality Management Systems and food safety, he instructed us in the implementation of these standards and together we went through each of the requirements and necessary training according to the procedures.

-What is the GLOBAL.G.A.P. certification for you?

We are very proud to have this certification, it was a difficult path, but certainly necessary for the times to come. Today we are a company that carries out Good Agricultural Practices, taking care of each of the waste that we generate with a recycling plan, using resources rationally and efficiently and producing safely for both the workers who work in the company and for those producers and industries that receive it, this is a path that has just begun. Every day we must maintain the same commitment that we had when we started and also adapt to the world and trends that are approaching. It is of great value to us to know that we are collaborating with the environment and the quality of work.

-What future goals does the company have?

One of the main objectives for the future that we will start shortly, understanding that it is an exciting challenge, is to become a Company B, with a triple impact, further reinforcing the social and environmental commitment by using clean energy by implementing a mini park. solar for our internal demand and make technological changes in heating equipment to reduce the use of natural gas to the lowest possible percentage. These, among many others, concrete measures and actions to respond to environmental and social problems

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