AgroFresh Solutions Inc. has signed an agreement with Chinese retailer Pagoda to extend the shelf life and quality of fruit in its stores.
Pagoda, the largest fruit retail chain in China with 3,000 locations, will work with AgroFresh on fruit quality problems to “deliver actionable insights and solutions that will promote freshness at every step in the value chain for Chinese consumers,” according to a news release from Philadelphia based AgroFresh.
As part of the agreement, AgroFresh plans to open an “innovation center” to identify fruit quality problems. The center is slated to open in the second half of 2018 at a Pagoda distribution center in the Guangdong province, according to the release.
“As a company firmly rooted in research and science, the new innovation center in China enables us to apply our know-how to predict optimal fruit conditions and reduce waste,” Jordi Ferre, AgroFresh CEO said in the release. “Pagoda’s dedication to overall fruit quality, intimate knowledge of the local consumer and complex supply chain make the company a perfect partner to help us better develop and deliver localized freshness-preservation solutions.”
Huiyong Yu, Pagoda president, said in the release that the partnership allows Pagoda to enhance customer experience, reduce food waste and make healthy diets more accessible.
“Cooperating with AgroFresh will also arm us with more fruit intelligence and strengthen our position as a leading quality fruit provider,” Yu said in the release.
The two companies initially announced the agreement in September, during the retailer’s annual supplier meeting in Hong Kong. According to a news release at the time, suppliers in attendance included Zespri Kiwifruit from New Zealand and stone fruit/grape grower-marketer Sun World.
Mission Produce, which has a ripening center in China, with another one scheduled for completion in September, also supplies Pagoda. The avocado grower-shipper has a partnership with Pagoda and importer Lantao International to supply the Chinese market, which Mission CEO Steve Barnard has said is a “huge opportunity.”
More Mission avocado ripening centers are in the planning stage.
AgroFresh’s SmartFresh technology uses 1-MCP, which blocks the fruit’s ethylene receptors to stall the ripening process.