Hazel Technologies Inc. and Homestead, FL-based A.R. Produce & Trucking Corp, a tropical and subtropical grower and importer of over 30 commodities, report that quality and program growth continues for tropical commodities including dragon fruit and tropical avocados. A.R. Produce also has integrated Hazel Tech® products into its vegetable program, with added protection for its okra crop.
The USDA notes in its Shrink Estimates for Fresh Foods study that tropicals are leaders in shrink with ranges hovering between 20 to 40 percent–okra (right) being the highest shrink fresh vegetable sold at retail.
Retailers and growers can commiserate on the shelf-life challenges that come with stocking and shipping both tropical fruits and vegetables. Produce managers excited to add interest to the department often look for opportunities to add tropicals to their set. With the novelty sometimes comes challenges. The USDA notes in its Shrink Estimates for Fresh Foods study that tropicals are leaders in shrink with ranges hovering between 20 to 40 percent–okra being the highest shrink fresh vegetable sold at retail. Eager to find easy-to-use solutions that reduce shrink, Hazel Tech and A.R. Produce have partnered to improve quality over the past three years and successfully changed the scorecard for these highly perishable categories.
“Major retailers rank our performance across several key categories with quality being a priority,” said Frank Martinez, owner of A.R Produce & Trucking Corp. “By investing in Hazel’s technologies across our product line, we’ve been able to reduce quality claims by more than 50 percent and improve our scores with key retailers. I’m proud that today A.R. Produce is no longer in the middle of the pack and now we’re a preferred category vendor through our commitment to innovation and optimum quality. Most importantly, having a reputation for top quality opens the door for more new business opportunities with existing customers.”
Left: Frank Martinez; right: Tommy Caruana.
“Hazel Tech is looking to add value across the supply chain. We understand the pain points and are passionate about solving problems with shrink,” said Tommy Caruana, director of retail business development at Hazel Technologies. “We are focused on sales drivers like avocados and other tropical novelty commodities because we understand the importance of variety at retail and its impact on the global supply chain.”