USDA-funded startup Hazel Technologies announced on Wednesday a new partnership with Dominican avocado grower and distributor WP Produce.
As a result, WP Produce Desbry brand green-skinned avocados will now be shipped with Hazel's shelf-life-extending technology.
This comes from WP Produce's desire to expand in U.S. markets. Vice president of sales at WP Produce Chris Gonzalez commented that the company constantly searches to improve their supply chain.
To that end, Hazel provided them a solution. This partnership ensures "high-quality fruit with longer shelf life at retail" for WP Produce customers across the U.S.
The companies conducted trails prior to commercial rollout. This follows a similar trail done in 2018. WP Produce placed Hazel Tech's quarter-sized inserts in boxes of "green-skinned avocados. Hazel's technology is a biodegradable and food-safe packaging device which extends shelf life.
Research sought to determine Hazel's impact on the supply chain of fruit originating from Florida and the Dominican Republic.
Avocado trials complete
Trails lasted over a year, with the results demonstrating a reduction in shrink and food waste. Further, it concluded that Hazel packaging maintained the quality and shelf life of Desbry avocados in all test scenarios.
Gonzalez also commented on the success of commercial trials. According to Gonzalez, WP Produce's retail partners noted that Hazel packets produced "an additional 4-5 days of shelf life" and "an improvement of up to 40%."
CEO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies Aidan Mouat cited this partnership as "further evidence of how many different kinds of avocados can enjoy longer shelf life and maintain quality" with Hazel's technology.
Mouat said that data-driven validation drove the partnership and showed that Hazel Technologies has a "real impact increasing sales and reducing food waste."
Founded in 2015, Hazel Technologies works with over 100 companies in the U.S. and Latin America.
The family-owned, multi-regional WP Produce has been in the tropical avocado market since 1992. The company is the largest importer and distributor of Dominican avocados worldwide and operates under Desbry brand.