It’sFresh! Inc., is seeing increasing increased retailer acceptance of an ethylene-reducing product that helps extend the freshness of produce and reduces food waste.
In early February, the company relocated from the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb or Victoria, Minn., to Eden Prairie, Minn.
The move helps consolidate the company’s staff that was spread throughout the U.S. including in Cincinnati and Bentonville, Ark., and should help avoid piecemeal efforts as the company works to train growers and retailers about the new food grade ethylene trapping technology, said Greg Pavett, president and founder.
At the packing end, paper-thin sheets that absorb ethylene are inserted into bulk cartons and clamshells.
Though It’sFresh! is focusing on berries, stone fruit and tomatoes, it is also examining ways the technology that decreases ethylene at multiple temperatures and humidity levels can be used in a dozen other items, including avocados, cherries, grapes and kiwifruit, Pavett said.
The company is expanding sales to major retailers throughout the U.S. after a successful implementation with a major chain.
Citing proprietary reasons, Pavett declined to state the name of the retailer but said the technology is helping that leading chain save hundreds of thousands of pounds of waste and helping increase sales.
That last part of the supply chain is where the technology is showing its best benefit and it helps add an extra three days of shelf life, Pavett said.
“We can’t continue at the pace where we grow, pick, pack and ship and throw a quarter of the product away,” he said. “The growers have such a difficult job, with labor, water, weather challenges and high input costs. If they can keep doing what they’re doing, we can help them on that ‘last mile’ at the store so more consumers can enjoy their produce.”
In October, Food Freshness Technology, It’sFresh!’s Birmingham, England-based parent company, became the first investment of Anterra Capital, a Rabobank and Moonray Investors’ global food and agriculture fund.