The science behind reducing fruit and veg wastage

The science behind reducing fruit and veg wastage - Knowledge factory

Our business relies on our reputation, so it is very important to build long-term relationships with our clients. Kent Science Park is an excellent environment for entertaining clients, and the management team is very supportive of this.

Dr Sarah Taylor, Greenbean Scientific

The UK fruit and vegetable wholesale market is a multi-billion pound industry, but the difference between profit and loss depends on getting produce from the grower to the retailer’s shelf in the best possible condition. Growing, packaging, shipping, storage and handling conditions can all affect post-harvest losses and the quality of fruit and vegetables before they reach the consumer, so it can sometimes be difficult to identify where a problem lies.

Greenbean Scientific’s mission is to answer this often complex question, offering a blend of technical consultancy, R&D services and specialist post-harvest advice to growers, importers, distributors and retailers. Dr Sarah Taylor, Director and Owner, explained: “A lot of our work is troubleshooting, bridging the gap between the scientific understanding and commercial considerations of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. Clients might come to us because there is a high incidence of rot in a particular shipment of fruit, or the shelf life of their products doesn’t meet the requirements of the retailer, and they lack the scientific expertise to resolve these issues. We’ll often start by going through the entire lifecycle of the fruit or vegetable, starting in the field or orchard where it is grown, then following it all the way through the packing and shipping process to the retailer. Combining our extensive experience with the results of testing in our laboratories, we can provide recommendations to growers and importers through to retailers.”

“The other side of our business is working with parties across the supply chain to investigate new technologies. This might be working with the technology companies directly, helping them to develop novel solutions or adapt their existing products for the fresh fruit and veg market, or it could be working with an importer or retailer to assess the performance of a new product. Through this work, we have also identified a number of unmet needs in the market, and are now looking at developing in-house technologies to help reduce fruit and vegetable waste throughout the supply chain.”

“Our business relies on our reputation, so it is very important to build long-term relationships with our clients. Being based in Kent is ideal for this, as our proximity to rail and airfreight links – plus the large number of growers locally – mean that a lot of growers and suppliers are based in the county. Kent Science Park is an excellent environment for entertaining clients, and the management team is very supportive of this. For example, they recently arranged for the deputy governor of the Bank of England to give a talk on the current economic situation, and we invited more than a dozen clients who wanted to know more about how Brexit might affect the fresh produce industry. While they were here, we were able to show them the recent additions to our facilities, and remind them of the services we offer. It was a win-win situation.”

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Knowledge factory
Knowledge factory
Knowledge factory
Knowledge factory