1st annual “Agricultural Leadership Academy” event with Chicago students hosted
Hazel Technologies Inc., a USDA-funded technology company delivering new packaging solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and combat food waste, announced the completion of the first annual Agricultural Academy community event, in partnership with tomato grower MightyVine, ReFED the only U.S. nonprofit wholly dedicated to reducing food waste, local non-profit Mindful Waste, and the Cook County Farm Bureau.
The 1st annual Agriculture Academy event took place at Hazel Technologies headquarters on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 19th. During the event over 30 local high school students aspiring to learn more about careers in agriculture and sustainability visited Hazel Technologies headquarters in downtown Chicago and took part in career planning panels, observed science demonstrations related to the produce supply chain, and learned about the diverse set of supply chains of fresh produce.
“Food waste is a global issue. As a forward-thinking producer of the highest quality tomatoes, MightyVine is committed to providing not only the best tasting product but also the most sustainable,” said Gary Lazarski, CEO of MightyVine.
“Many of the world’s biggest problems will be solved by future generations. Here at Hazel Tech one of our goals is to inspire the local student community in Chicago to pursue careers in agriculture and sustainability,” said Hazel Technologies CEO Aidan Mouat.
“A fifth of all natural resources used to grow fresh produce are wasted because so much of that produce is never eaten. That’s not sustainable,” said Nathan Lohrmann, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at ReFED, “Programs like this play an important role in building a more sustainable and just food system by showing younger generations the positive impacts they can have on the system.”
Founded in 2015, Hazel Tech®‘s technologies revolve around the release of active, shelf-life enhancing vapor from packaging materials. Hazel™ sachets are placed in boxes of bulk produce by packers soon after the time of harvest, extending the shelf-life of produce up to three times by slowing aging in produce and preventing decay. Hazel®’s patent-pending technologies have been tested by many of the country's top academic research programs including UC Davis, Cornell University, and Oregon State University.