“We look forward to reducing food waste, unlocking new value for everybody in the supply chain, and growing the fruit and vegetable business with all of our partners together.”
Retailers across Europe will start selling avocados covered in a coating developed to significantly extend the shelf life of fresh produce this week.
The plant-derived, water-based, invisible coating is vegan and harmless to eat, according its creator US-based food technology firm Apeel Sciences. The company said that its coating is called Apeel and is made of plant-derived materials — lipids and glycerolipids — that exist in the peels, seeds, and pulp of all the fruits and vegetables we already eat.
European producer supplier Nature Pride will be linking up with Apeel to sell the avocados in large supermarket chains in Germany and Denmark in order to reduce food waste and cut the use of plastic packaging.
The Apeel and Nature’s Pride partnership comes at a time when food waste in Europe has reached a staggering 88 million tonnes annually, with associated costs estimated at €143 billion, and builds on Apeel’s successful introduction in the US, where the technology has demonstrated a greater than 50% food waste reduction at the retail level.
As part of the partnership, Nature’s Pride and Apeel Sciences will introduce a co-branded label, a signal to consumers of quality, sustainability, and longer lasting freshness, and thus, less food waste, made possible by Apeel’s technology.
The bio-based coating technology, which was approved for use in the EU by the European Commission in June, is already being tested in the UK by Asda. The supermarket chain is expected to launch UK consumer trials in 2020 after an experiment this autumn on mandarins from Peru and tests on cucumbers, which could dispense with the need for plastic wrapping.
“We put the health of people and the environment at the heart of all we do. We are constantly looking for improvements in our value chain to provide our customers with the highest quality and most tasty products,” said Adriëlle Dankier, chief commercial officer of Nature’s Pride.
Dankier added: “With Apeel, we share the same values: we are both pioneering and passionate about reducing food waste, and we want to work collaboratively with others to solve this problem. This makes Apeel the ideal strategic partner for us. We look forward to reducing food waste, unlocking new value for everybody in the supply chain, and growing the fruit and vegetable business with all of our partners together.
“Food waste is a massive global problem and with a strategic leader like Nature’s Pride, we can look to a future where there’s much less waste in the system, and we can advance sustainability together with benefits to everyone in the supply chain,” said James Rogers, chief executive officer and founder of Apeel Sciences.
Rogers added: “Nature’s Pride and Apeel have the same vision for a future where our food systems operate more harmoniously with nature, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to work with them to take the food waste fight to Europe very soon.”