Sobeys Partners With Verdant Technologies to Eliminate Ice From Broccoli Supply Chain; Myriam Tremblay and Matthew Aronson Comment

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Mon. April 8th, 2024 - by Peggy Packer

CENTENNIAL, CO - Sobeys’ broccoli supply chain is about to get even more sustainable and efficient. The retailer teamed up with Verdant Technologies to implement its HarvestHold Fresh® product—an in-box sheet that uses an industry-standard ingredient to extend freshness and shelf-life.

Myriam Tremblay, Vice President Produce Merchandise, Sourcing & Replenishment, Sobeys
Myriam Tremblay, Vice President, Produce Merchandise, Sourcing, and Replenishment, Sobeys

"Stemming from a hugely successful pilot in Ontario and Quebec, we are now working with growers across North America to expand the learnings to the entire broccoli supply chain—and what we learned was that we can realize the benefits of reduced water use, less spoilage, and fewer trucks needed for transporting produce, while improving freshness in the customer's produce grocery basket," said Myriam Tremblay, Vice President of Produce Merchandise, Sourcing, and Replenishment, Sobeys. "Working with Verdant and partnering in this initiative has enabled us to implement a truly unique farm-to-plate innovation that provides advantages at each stage of the supply chain."

Empire Company Limited, the parent company of Sobeys, was the first major grocery retailer in North America to adopt the technology, according to a press release. Since 2022, Empire's growing partners have been using the ice-less HarvestHold technology in bunch broccoli packing in Quebec and Ontario at its banner stores. In 2024, the partners plan to expand nationally.

Sobeys and Verdant Technologies have partnered to eliminate ice from the broccoli supply chain

The active ingredient in HarvestHold Fresh blocks ethylene, delaying ripening and allowing fruits and vegetables to maintain their natural flavor and nutrients for a longer period. This also results in less food spoilage and waste, reduced energy and carbon emissions involved in preparing and transporting, and in the case of ice-less broccoli, offers enhanced workplace safety.

Matthew Aronson, Chief Revenue Officer, Verdant™ Technologies
Matthew Aronson, Chief Revenue Officer, Verdant Technologies

"Our pilot studies have demonstrated HarvestHold Fresh's transformative impact on the broccoli supply chain," said Matthew Aronson, Chief Revenue Officer of Verdant Technologies. "Through our collaborative approach with Sobeys and its grower partners, we've shown that broccoli transported without ice using HarvestHold Fresh retains its fresh, vibrant green hue and firmness up to a week longer than its ice-shipped counterparts. These findings not only confirm the effectiveness of HarvestHold Fresh but also set a new benchmark in produce logistics and environmental stewardship."

Sobeys is collaborating with its strategic grower partners to integrate HarvestHold Fresh into other commodities and geographies later this year.

Stay tuned as ANUK reports on this impactful partnership.