After more than a year of testing post-harvest solutions, Mission Produce Inc and Hazel Technologies Inc announced a partnership to extend the shelf life of avocados. As part of the collaboration, Mission Produce will continue to test (with the aim to integrate) Hazel’s US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded packaging solution across its global supply chain with the aim of reducing waste and shrinkage.
“This partnership demonstrates Mission Produce’s dedication to quality, innovation, and growth, and Hazel’s commitment to post-harvest solutions in the produce industry,” said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive officer of Mission Produce. “Our partnership with Hazel Technologies strengthens our position in the industry.”
“Mission Produce is always looking ahead,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO and co-founder of Hazel. “Considering the demand for avocados, we could not have chosen a better partner.”
For many years, Mission Produce actively researched several new post-harvest shelf life extension solutions.
According to Patrick Cortes, senior director of business development, “We decided to collaborate with Hazel Technologies because in our initial year of testing, the company’s solutions proved to increase the shelf life of both hard and ripe avocados, maintain and extend the internal quality of the fruit, and minimize the operational impact to the supply chain. However, the main benefit of the partnership is working together to reduce global food waste.”
Mission Produce also wants to reduce customer throwaways, in turn increasing profits.
After more than a year of research and trials with Hazel‘s packaging inserts, Mission Produce observed it saw an increase in the shelf life of both hard and ripe avocados when including the new technology. In several different settings, Mission Produce conducted studies using Hazel 1-MCP technology, and the results were consistent: the avocados experienced an extended shelf life and internal quality.
The technology, which is funded by the USDA, is a quarter-sized biodegradable and food-safe packaging insert that is placed in the box.
According to Hazel, the packet can be applied in various environments such as at source, during packaging or at Mission Produce’s distribution centers. Both companies said this provides solutions in many aspects—shelf life extension, ease of application, limited supply chain disruption and an improved customer experience.