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April 08, 2024

Verdant Technologies is expanding the adoption of its HarvestHold Fresh product in Canada to improve the sustainability and efficiency of the North American broccoli supply chain. HarvestHold Fresh is an in-box sheet that uses 1-MCP, widely used in commodities such as apples for more than two decades, to extend freshness and shelf-life.


The sheet is placed in produce boxes immediately after harvest to slow ripening and maturation so that produce can maintain its vitality and taste for longer. This innovation eliminates the need for ice when transporting broccoli, significantly reducing water use and optimizing space, which creates a more sustainable method of shelf-life preservation and makes transportation more efficient. 


Empire Company Limited, parent company of Sobeys Inc. was the first major grocery retailer in North America to adopt the technology. Since 2022, Empire’s growing partners have been using the ice-less HarvestHold technology in bunch broccoli packing in Québec and Ontario at its Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, and FreschCo banner stores. In 2024, the partners plan to expand nationally as part of new supply chain innovation and sustainability initiative.

“Stemming from a hugely successful pilot in Ontario and Québec, 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, VP Produce Merchandise, Sourcing & Replenishment, Sobeys Inc.

By eliminating the traditional shipping approach, growers and retailers can save up to 13,000 litres of water required per each truckload of broccoli—and customers can enjoy the product knowing it also has a smaller environmental footprint.


“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 in 2024. For more information on Verdant Technologies, visit


Source: Verdant Technologies April 8, 2024 news release                                     



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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 8 April 2024