Hazel Technologies, a USDA-supported technology company delivering new solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and combat food waste, has announced its partnership with Calavo Growers, a leading grower-shipper of fresh Hawaiian papaya, tomato, and Hass avocado.

The initial collaboration between Hazel Tech and Calavo will focus on ensuring quality of fresh Hawaiian papaya.

Papayas have become more popular in the US in recent years with US consumption doubling in the past decade. More than 75 per cent of the papaya produced in Hawaii are marketed under the Calavo Gold and Cole brands.

One major challenge limiting further growth is the short shelf-life of papaya. This has led Calavo to partner with Hazel in an effort to improve the fruit quality, unlock further expansion opportunities, and reduce unnecessary food waste.

In trials, Calavo observed reduced decay and delayed ripening when implementing Hazel 100 sachets into their supply chain. Calavo’s expectation is for improved arrival quality resulting in lower labour costs and less food waste.

The grower-shipper said it had decided to implement Hazel commercially with shipments of papayas sent by air and sea freight in an effort to meet these expectations

“We were looking for an easy to integrate solution that would give us more time regardless of the harvest maturity,” said Brian Jameson, vice president of fresh procurement for Calavo Growers.

“With Hazel 100 sachets we’re able to reduce cull rate, waste and retain quality of our papayas which is a great benefit. We provide the freshest and most flavourful papayas Hawaii has to offer and by utilising Hazel Tech we’ll be able to provide more premium quality fruit to valued customers, continue to support Hawaiian agriculture and ensure our supply chain is as efficient as possible.”

Pat Flynn, chief marketing officer of Hazel Technologies, said the trial with Calavo provided “a perfect example of how Hazel easily fits into the existing supply chain to protect quality, reduce waste and increase profits.

“As we continue to work with Calavo, we look forward bringing easy-to-use solutions for longer lasting papayas, avocados and tomatoes to consumers across the globe,” he added.