Innovation is an integral part of Oppy’s company culture.
For more than 160 years, we’ve brought new fruits and vegetables to the North American market including Granny Smith apples, kiwifruit, JAZZ™ apples, Envy™ apples and Zespri SunGold kiwifruit, so we know first-hand that innovation shapes the future.
To lead our continued innovation, Oppy’s Innovation Council, which is comprised of team members from different departments, provides input on key innovation projects. We make sure all work groups have a voice when it comes to deciding which initiatives are most worthwhile to pursue. The council meets once a month remotely and once or twice per year in-person.
While innovation can have a wide array of definitions, Oppy is currently concentrating on a few key areas that we believe hold the most promise. We pursue innovative endeavors that have the highest probability of bringing value to our customers and other stakeholders.
Below are more details about a few areas we are currently focusing on. In the world of innovation, things are always changing so this might not include the entire portfolio of projects we have underway at any given point in time.
We work with breeders and universities to discover new fruit and vegetable varieties that typically
- have a higher resistance to pests and diseases,
- have a higher yield compared to similar varieties currently in the market and/or
- taste better.
Searching for and trialing new varieties is ongoing.
Packaging trends are evolving quickly and Oppy is on the forefront by coming up with new packaging concepts for our customers. We work with packaging companies to create new concepts that are recyclable and when possible, biodegradable and compostable.
There are countless technological tools designed to help farmers grow fruit and vegetables in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Oppy works with tech companies to trial their products and assess their impact on production. If a trial proves successful, we determine if deploying the technology on a larger scale makes sense. An example would be using drone technology to measure the health of individual trees in a citrus orchard.
Shelf Life Extension
Many new products designed to prolong the shelf life of fruit and vegetables have been introduced to the North American market in recent years. Oppy works with most of the shelf life extension technology companies in the market, testing the effect their technology has on our products and determining if it would be beneficial to implement on a larger scale. Our trials are ongoing.