Jan 24, 2022Sorbatto Fresh to scale up RipeLocker container use
RipeLocker, a company that works to extend the postharvest life of perishables, ramps up commercial sales of its containers to Sorbatto Fresh (formerly Blueberry Hill), an early adopter of the technology.
As a heatwave hit Eastern Washington over the summer, it effected the blueberry harvest and flooded the market with fruit that yielded lower than normal prices. Growers were faced with either selling their crop at a discount immediately or dumping their fruit into the processor market.
“2021 was a very challenging season for us,” Jeff Weijohn, owner of Sorbatto Fresh a grower in Yakima, Washington, said in a news release.. “The heat wave not only affected fruit quality, but also caused the market to collapse during the high production season. Using the RipeLockers allowed us to ride out the turbulent market by storing fruit that would have gone to waste. The fruit that came out of the RipeLocker’s not only retained its quality but was able to be sold at a much higher price two months later when the market recovered. Due to this extended season’s success, we are excited to commit to a week’s worth of process capacity in RipeLockers next year.”
By using RipeLocker containers, Sorbatto Fresh greatly extended its normal selling season to sustain and increase their margins. The benefits of RipeLocker’s patented postharvest technology creates value to growers and retailers in providing consumers with quality fruit for longer periods of time.
Sorbatto Fresh plans to use the RipeLocker containers it leases to store its blueberries and potentially other perishables in the future. The company endeavors to scale up to between 500 and 600 containers for next season.
The technology behind RipeLocker containers
RipeLocker containers offer a unique, patented system to manage the atmospheric pressure, humidity, and gas composition (oxygen and CO2) within the containers to extend the life of fresh produce and flowers. Based on the specific needs of each type of fresh produce or flower, RipeLocker tailors operating parameters, such as internal pressure, oxygen, and CO2 levels, to optimize the longevity and freshness. The system responds to changes in the storage or shipping environment, making automatic precise adjustments to prevent damage and reduce decay.
RipeLocker designed its pallet-sized containers so that they can easily be deployed and used in the existing cold chain. Produced using novel materials and highly scalable manufacturing processes, the RipeLocker container is the first solution that can be delivered cost effectively in mass volume. RipeLocker has patents on both the container design and method of operation.
RipeLocker has patented a radical innovation designed to disrupt and change the existing postharvest technologies and processes of preserving the life and freshness of perishables. The company’s dynamic, low-atmosphere containers are used for storing and shipping fresh produce and flowers to extend their after-harvest life by weeks, often months. When RipeLocker containers are used, shippers and retailers reduce food waste and consumers benefit from better taste and longer shelf-life.
RipeLocker, founded in 2016 and based in Seattle, WA, US, is a science-based and data-driven company. It continues to conduct efficacy trials of its RipeLocker containers for a variety of different crops with the largest growers in the world. For more information, visit www.ripelocker.com.