CHICAGO, IL – Hazel Technologies Inc., a developer of new technologies to protect quality in the produce supply chain and fight food waste, announces a joint partnership with Farmlands, New Zealand’s largest farmer-owned, rural supplies co-operative, Seeka, the largest kiwifruit packer in New Zealand, and Apata, a leading harvester, packer and cold storage operator for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. The partnership focuses on the use of Hazel™ Trex, a new pre-harvest technology launched by Hazel Tech® this year, with support from global New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri.
As part of the partnership, growers supplying fruit to Seeka and Apata will deploy the Hazel™ Trex technology into their pre-harvest management process ahead of the 2020-2021 harvest. Seeka, founded in 1980, is the largest packer of kiwifruit in New Zealand and Australia, and manages over 1200 hectares of kiwifruit production. Apata was created in 2013, after the strategic merger of two long standing kiwifruit packers, Aerocool Limited and Apata Limited. Both Seeka and Apata pack the Zespri kiwifruit export label. Farmlands will be the sole distributor of Hazel™ Trex to all of Zespri’s New Zealand kiwifruit growers.
“Hazel™ Trex technology will effect a true paradigm shift in kiwifruit orchard management, as it employs the latest genetic sequencing technology to ensure accurate forecasting,” said Dwayne Farrington, Technical Manager at Farmlands. “Given the depth of our co-operative’s technical kiwifruit expertise we are well placed to distribute this technology to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry in 2020 and beyond.”
“For the past 30 years, Apata has always prided itself on embracing industry leading technologies ahead of the market to optimize kiwifruit quality. Our partnership with Farmlands and Hazel Tech® is a testament to our commitment to innovation,” said Gary Geurts, Business Development Manager of Apata.
“Our multi-season data indicates Hazel™ Trex reduces kiwifruit orchard management labor costs by increasing king flower frequency”, said Miguel Peterle, Production Manager at Whitehall Fruitpackers, “Reducing labor needs during potential COVID-19 related shortages is especially crucial.” Whitehall Fruitpackers manages 100 hectares of Zespri SunGold kiwifruit and 130 hectares of Zespri Green in the Waikato growing region.
“Hazel Tech® is committed to expanding our current industry-leading technology portfolio across the global supply chain,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO, Hazel Technologies, “Partnering with some of the most respected New Zealand Kiwifruit brands like Farmlands, Seeka, Apata, and Zespri has been a major progress point for our geographical and product portfolio expansion.”
About Hazel Technologies: Hazel Technologies is a USDA-funded startup company that develops new solutions to extend the quality shelf life of fresh produce and reduce food waste. Founded in 2015, Hazel Tech® services over 150 of the world’s largest fresh produce packers, shippers, and retailers. Selected as a Finalist for Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas and winner of “Best Sustainable Packaging” at the 2020 World Food Innovation Awards, the company’s patent-pending technologies have been tested by top academic research programs including UC Davis, Cornell University, and Oregon State University. In 2020, Hazel is on track to be used with over 3.2 billion pounds of fresh produce, preventing more than 270 million pounds from going to waste. For more information, visit www.hazeltechnologies.com.
About Farmlands: Farmlands Co-operative was formed by farmers for farmers over 55 years ago, with the aim that everybody should prosper. This sentiment remains as strong as ever. Farmlands is the largest buying group of its type in New Zealand, transacting more than 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of business annually and is listed in the top 20 companies by turnover in New Zealand. This buying power helps reduce the input costs of more than 70,000 Farmlands shareholders nationwide. For more information, visit www.farmlands.co.nz.
About Seeka: Seeka Ltd, formerly Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Limited (Seeka) is a New Zealand-based integrated orcharding, post-harvest, supply, and retail services company. The Company operates through five segments: Orchard operations, Post-harvest operations, Retail service operations, All other segments – New Zealand and Australian operations. For more information, visit www.seeka.co.nz.
About Apata: Apata Group Limited is a specialist service provider for New Zealand kiwifruit and avocado growers. We harvest, pack and store fruit in our industry leading packhouses and coolstores which are strategically situated in the heart of kiwifruit and avocado growing country, the Bay of Plenty. For more information, visit www.apata.co.nz.