AgroFresh Solutions, a provider of produce freshness solutions, and Zest Labs, an AgTech company focused on the post-harvest fresh food supply chain, are integrating their technologies to strengthen their end-to-end solutions.
“We launched our FreshCloud platform in 2018 to provide customers around the world with end-to-end visibility into fresh produce quality and shelf life prediction through the supply chain,” says Jordi Ferre, CEO of Philadelphia-based AgroFresh. “To further accelerate the Transit Insights module within our FreshCloud platform, we used our plant physiology knowledge and expertise and applied it to the best IoT [Internet of Things] technology available via Zest Labs.”
AgroFresh will incorporate San Jose, Calif.-based Zest Labs’ Zest Fresh solution into its FreshCloud Transit Insights platform. The agreement will utilize both companies’ resources to help growers, packers and retailers increase visibility into produce shelf life and reduce food waste.
“The strategic partnership between the two companies combined AgroFresh’s decades-long plant physiology expertise with Zest Labs’ freshness management and analytics technology with a shared vision to increase visibility into produce shelf life, improve operations and reduce food waste,” says Ferre.
Zest Fresh prevents the creation of waste by ensuring each pallet is delivered to the retailer with sufficient freshness for their sell through and consumption by the consumer. If, however, a pallet with only three days of shelf life is identified, that information could be used to route it to a food bank or other purpose to ensure it is consumed quickly and not wasted.
“The Zest Fresh technology intelligently manages the handling and quality of produce pallets from field to retail, using sophisticated sensors and hardware to provide real-time information to customers,” says Ferre. “FreshCloud Transit Insights arms customers with actionable information to maximize produce quality, safety and freshness and ensure smart distribution.”
Predictive analytics and machine-learning technology power Zest Fresh. Data is collected using IoT condition sensors and autonomous wireless access points throughout the supply chain, from the grower, to the shipper, to the retailer.
“AgroFresh’s offering of Zest Fresh is significant as they are a trusted global expert in post-harvest science with [more than] 3,500 customers worldwide and can quickly expand Zest Fresh into new markets and with new types of fresh produce,” said Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs, in a statement. “Our collective science-based, data-driven solutions and shared market vision for ensuring delivered freshness and reducing food waste provide a foundation for a successful partnership.”
The technology behind Zest Fresh is made up of real-time predictive analytics and machine learning that can help efficiency while driving consistency through best practice adherence at a pallet level.
“We believe that our FreshCloud platform, strengthened by our collaboration with Zest Labs, will positively impact our customers by empowering them to make better real-time decisions to reduce food waste and create a more sustainable fresh produce supply chain,” says Ferre.