AgroFresh recently showcased its wide range of innovations for fresh produce at Fruit Logistica, in Berlin, Germany. These included its SmartFresh™, FreshCloud™ Storage Insights and fungicides, waxes and coatings solutions. At the trade show, a food waste meter demonstrated the company's SmartFresh™ and Harvista™ solutions’ ability to reduce about 10,000 metric tons of food waste per day.
“Data-driven solutions are what growers and the industry are looking for. We are always looking for innovations in other segments of the fruit and vegetable sector. It does not stop at one product. We are looking to offer a multitude of solutions,” says AgroFresh’s Veronika Mangin. Veronika is the company’s Global Core Portfolio Project Leader.
“FreshCloud™ is our digital platform. We noticed that our clients that store their fresh produce for a long time, cannot monitor what is happening inside the storage facility,” continues Veronika. “They can now do so through technology, called FreshCloud Storage Insights. Growers can see what is going on inside the storage unit, without having to open the door.”
“We take air samples and analyze them in our labs using algorithms and other technologies. We then provide feedback to our growers. We provide sampling over a length of time and growers can then see whether they should make a change to how they store their fruit, such as adapting the length of their storage. They can check the conditions of their storage facility on our app. The grower can, therefore, make data-driven decisions. It is important for the growers for their peace of mind.”
“With our expertise and this technology we can provide services to our clients. We advise them on the behavior of their fruit. That is important to them so that they can better manage their storage strategy. The market is finding it really useful because we are supporting them with something that, until now, they could not manage. So, with these technologies, we met that need,” adds David Ferrer, Fungicides Project Leader at AgroFresh.
SmartFresh™ is the company’s flagship solution. This extends the freshness window of fresh produce. “SmartFresh™ is mainly used for apples, but we are now looking for other crops where SmartFresh can be useful. In several countries in Europe, we are launching this year SmartFresh for melons, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. It is quite a new segment of clients with different needs.”
The company is growing
“We are extending our portfolio in terms of not only products but also geographically,” says David. “AgroFresh provides all the solutions needed to protect all kinds of fruit. One of our main goals is to help our customers extend their products’ shelf life. That is so their fruit can arrive at their final destination healthy and with good quality. We work closely with our clients, providing products, technologies, and services,” says David.
AgroFresh is present in more than 40 countries. “That provides us with a broad perspective of the different markets’ different needs.”
“We adjust our service to meet our clients’ needs, and we have expertise about how the solution will be applied,” explains Veronika. “AgroFresh offers mainly post-harvest solutions and we do have some near-harvest solutions. One of these is HarvistaTM, which is well-known worldwide and will be available in Europe soon. It can extend a crop’s harvesting window, and with this, growers can manage their fruit well, while it is still in the orchard in order to meet consumers’ different requirements,” adds David.
“When a crop’s harvest is extended, you can gain more flexibility. You can better manage the produce’s quality. HarvistaTM is similar to SmartFreshTM as they both control ethylene. HarvistaTM helps deliver higher yields. HarvistaTM, therefore, offers a major benefit to growers,” continues Veronika.
Veronika mentioned that there is a project in the works where AgroFresh is looking to help retailers extend ready-to-eat avocados shelf life. This has not yet been launched in Europe. “Looking to the future, we always strive to show our customers all our newly discovered solutions, that we are very technically driven, and that we understand their needs. Sustainability is AgroFresh’s mission. We want to reduce food waste by providing these innovative solutions,” concludes Veronika.
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