Agrofresh calls to combine efforts to reduce Asia fruit waste problem

With accumulative post-harvest supply chain losses of 30% in Asia*, the General Manager for AgroFresh EMEA & ASIA, Peter Vriends, is calling on the industry to improve its partnerships and lift its investment to overcome the storage and supply chain barriers to deliver more high quality fruit.

Speaking at the Business Forum at Asia Fruit Logistic, Mr. Vriends said that planning, investing, controlling and partnering were the ‘ingredients’ to reducing dramatically high fruit losses in Asia and achieving sustainable fruit quality. “Our fruit losses currently compare very badly with the United Kingdom and Europe (18%), and while we may seek to excuse or rationalize these on the basis of hot and humid climatic conditions in some regions, we should not be losing so much fruit and potential revenue,” he said.

Mr. Vriends said that in blocking ethylene, SmartFreshTM 1-MCP, the technology pioneered by his company, was playing a valuable part in maintaining post-harvest fruit quality. Although now marketed in over 40 countries, and the only globally recognized and registered 1-MCP product, he strongly insisted that the solution to fruit waste was not a matter of using only cold storage and SmartFresh. “The solution to fruit losses lies in a combination of planning, investing, controlling and partnering across the supply chain. There is no silver bullet or single solution when you lose 8% at storage, a further 8% a distribution and another 15% at retail and in the consumer’s home.

Fresh produce losses at retail and at consumer level in Asia were up to five times higher than those of the UK. Mr Vriends said that research conducted in the Netherlands by A.C. Nielsen Retail showed the use of SmartFresh 1-MCP resulted in a 25% overall reduction in shrinkage and a 12% increase in sales during the 10-week test period. This involved 24 Dutch supermarkets, with 12 selling apples stored with SmartFresh, and 12 with non-SmartFresh apples of the same variety. Mr Vriends shared with the Forum some new research from Thailand on the benefits of using SmartFresh with mango.

“Comparing SmartFresh treated fruit with untreated, we measured the percentage of rotten fruit in ambient temperatures over a 29 day period. Within 20 days 100% of the untreated fruit was rotten and unmarketable. At 29 days only 30% of the SmartFresh fruit was rotten and 70% was in better condition than the untreated fruit at 15 days ambient. This reinforces the way in which reducing fruit waste is a prize worth pursuing."

For more information:
Yvonne Harz-Pitre, PhD, Head of Global Communications
Tel: + 33 149217879
Mobile: +33 675086597

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