Verdant Technologies

Apr 8, 2024
Verdant enters broccoli partnership

Verdant Technologies is expanding the adoption of its trademarked 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 an industry-standard ingredient widely used in commodities including apples and flowers for more than two decades to extend freshness and shelf-life.

Verdant Technologies
Verdant Technologies is working to improve the sustainability and efficiency of the North American broccoli supply chain through a partnership with a Canadian retailer.


HarvestHold Fresh 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 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, according to a news release.

Empire Co. 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 iceless HarvestHold technology in bunch broccoli packing in Quebec and Ontario at its Sobeys, IGA, Foodland and FreschCo banner stores.

The collaboration is a major development in building a more sustainable and efficient broccoli supply chain. In 2024, the partners plan to expand nationally as part of new supply chain innovation and sustainability initiative, according to a news release.

“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,” Myriam Tremblay, Sobeys’ vice president of produce merchandise, sourcing and replenishment, said in the release.

“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. We’re excited to see what can happen at a national scale and hope to see it used with other commodities coming into our stores.”

After fruits and vegetables are harvested, they release ethylene, a naturally occurring compound that accelerates the ripening process and eventually leads to over-ripening and spoilage. 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 without altering taste or nutritional value.

Verdant Technologies logoThis also results in less food spoilage and waste, reduced energy and carbon emissions involved in preparing and transporting, and in the case of iceless broccoli, offers enhanced workplace safety with reduced slip and fall risks from melted ice. By eliminating the traditional shipping approach, growers and retailers can save up to 3,400 gallons of water required per truckload of broccoli and customers can enjoy the product knowing it also has a smaller environmental footprint, according to the release.

“Our pilot studies have demonstrated HarvestHold Fresh’s transformative impact on the broccoli supply chain,” Matthew Aronson, Verdant’s chief revenue officer, said in the release. “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.”

With corporate offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Centennial, Colorado, Verdant Technologies provides life extension technology products for the produce industry. Verdant and its partners work to reduce negative environmental impacts and help bring nourishment to consumers.


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