Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-supported company developing new shelf-life extension technologies for fresh produce, announced a new partnership with Agritrade Farms LLC, one of the largest growers of specialty vegetables in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The partnership will initially focus on one of Hazel’s most-recent innovations in post-harvest quality technology, Hazel Okra. Agritrade Farms intends to use the product to achieve a new standard of freshness for its customers in North America and Europe.
Traditionally, okra is one of the most difficult specialty vegetables to ship at peak quality. In order to address this challenge, Agritrade Farms will begin using Hazel Okra with its entire program following positive trial results. In December 2017, the first commercial shipment of okra utilizing the technology was packed and shipped in Honduras.
“Most people forget that many vegetables have shelf-life challenges in addition to fruits,” said Aidan Mouat, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hazel Technologies. “Our partnership with a global grower-shipper like Agritrade Farms is an example of how our technologies can increase grower returns, reduce food waste, and expand geographic markets for specialty vegetable packer-shippers, along with fruit packer-shippers.”
Hazel Okra is the newest addition to the Hazel suite of technologies funded by the USDA through product development grants. The Hazel product line is a suite of easy-to-apply packaging inserts for protecting post-harvest quality in fresh produce categories like tomato, melons, tree fruit, kiwifruit, avocado and some specialty vegetables.
“Hazel Okra will help us bring okra, one of the fastest growing items in retail produce aisles, to the consumer fresher than it ever has been before,” said Paul Boris, partner and vice president of sales at Agritrade Farms. “Using this technology will help us dramatically increase the condition and lower shrink of each shipment.”
Source: Produce News