In 1968, under the impetus of Dominique Toulemonde senior, the nurserymen/women decided to join forces and work as a team, setting out to meet the breeders of fruit varieties from all over the world. The search for and building of solid and fruitful partnerships with these creators of fruit varieties throughout the world is still one of STAR FRUITS’ challenges.

Building partnerships within the industry has not stopped at variety creation and selection, and has also involved fruit growers and their marketers, through the development of initiatives organised around the collective promotion of fruit brands, such as PINK LADY® since the 2000s or, more recently, the JOYA® apple or NECTAVIGNE®/PECHEVIGNE® and METIS® plums.

STAR FRUITS was a pioneer and innovator in the development of these “marketed” approaches which are now widespread in the fruit world, but which are still inspired by the “PINK LADY®model”, whose success has endured and continues to develop today, with the historic European and worldwide partners.

Since the 1980s, member nurseries have been pooling their efforts to market their fruit tree seedlings and rootstocks for export, outside the French market, which they each work on separately. For over 40 years, STAR EXPORT has been marketing some of the planting material produced by its members in Europe, North Africa and further afield, thanks to a network of dynamic partners in the field and the commitment and professionalism of the STAR EXPORT teams!

In 2006, one of STAR FRUITS’ historic breeder-partners, René Monteux-Caillet, was about to cease trading. STAR FRUITS then initiated the resumption of this hybridisation programme by mobilising various stone fruit marketers in south-east France. Today, the peach, nectarine and apricot hybridisation programme – AC FRUIT – is run in partnership with Fruits Union and Fruits&Compagnie.

2012, saw the final stage in the expansion of STAR GROUP’s range of activities, with the retirement of one of the company’s founding nurserymen, DEMOL Nurseries, which specialised in rootstock production. STAR GROUP has taken over both of its activities, producing rootstocks and fruit plants on the one hand, and an in vitro rootstock propagation laboratory on the other, while maintaining its partnership with LAFOND Nurseries. These takeovers mean that STAR GROUP now includes STAR PMP, a nursery producing fruit plants and rootstocks, and EUROSTEME, an in vitro culture laboratory 50% owned by LAFOND Nurseries.

Since 2017 in particular, the founding member nurseries have been keen to structure all these subsidiaries and businesses in a harmonious way, and have set up STAR GROUP, a holding company that brings together, alongside the 4 member nurseries, the 5 subsidiaries or similar entities with complementary businesses: STAR FRUITS, STAR EXPORT, AC FRUIT, PMP and EUROSTEME.

Dedicated staff will join the holding company from 2021 to structure and lead the cross-functional projects to be carried out at group level for the benefit of the sector, the businesses supported by STAR GROUP and their various historical partners.