Hazel Technologies gets second round of USDA funding
Hazel Technologies has received an additional $600,000 to develop new shelf-life extension technologies for fresh produce. The money comes through the USDA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and is based on results received in the first phase of its research.
The SBIR funding is only available for second-phase recipients who show signs of credibility from the industry. Hazel Technologies received recommendations from partners such as DFI Marketing.
“Our early grower-packer partners have been able to reduce labor costs, increase grower returns and access new markets with our products,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies.
Prior to this award, Hazel was previously a recipient of a $100,000 development grant from the USDA in 2016 to develop its Hazel suite of technologies, which is a line of packaging inserts for protecting postharvest quality in fresh produce categories like tomato, melons, tree fruit, kiwi and avocado.
The most recent funding will be used to generate more data with current trial partners, to conduct academic studies on performance, and to expand operations in a new office space in the Western Growers Association Innovation Center in Salinas, California. Hazel Technologies is working with the Western Growers Innovation Center to provide its new crop quality technology as a solution to the issues identified by the industry.
“The Western Growers Innovation Center strives to foster innovation to address the most important grower issues like crop protection, labor supply, and water use,” said Dennis Donohue, consulting director of Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology at Western Growers Innovation Center.