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Grower-distributor Oppy has revealed that it is exploring new paths to innovation by partnering with Flavour Fields, a culinary hub built under the Koppert Cress brand specialising in growing microgreens and unique edible flowers and experts in uncommon produce.

According to Oppy, its extensive market experience, knowledge and customer-base will complement Flavour Fields’ research projects, cultivating new varieties and targeting the customers that would be most interested in these products.

“We’re incredibly excited to explore interesting varieties that bring something truly unique to the market with Flavour Fields,” Oppy’s senior manager of insights and innovation Garland Perkins said. “Oppy is well-positioned to play an important role as a bridge that connects the needs of retailers and growers, with cutting-edge innovations.”

Introducing new varieties and innovations is one of Oppy’s strategic strengths, thanks to a long history of bringing fan-favourites to North America including Japanese easy-peel oranges in 1891 and kiwifruit in the 1960s.

Other influential fruits that Oppy has brought to the market over the years include Granny Smith apples, Jazz apples, Envy apples and Zespri SunGold kiwifruit.

“We have always been a leader of innovation for the produce industry, but our experience with the retail sector was limited,” general manager of Flavour Fields Nicolas Mazard said. “We are therefore excited to access Oppy’s in-depth expertise in distribution and marketing. We could not have wished for a better partner than Oppy and together we will work on bringing pioneering innovations to the industry.”

Oppy’s other innovative initiatives include new packaging solutions, such as the more-sustainable bagasse-fibre based pack introduced to market earlier this year, as well as numerous successful shelf-life extension trials with Hazel Technologies and other partners.