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Perishables technology replaces airfreight

SAN FRANCISCO: BluWrap, a technology company that extends the shelf life of perishables to enable shipping by ocean rather than air, has secured US$12.6 million in equity financing to extend its technology to include seafood and pork.

Icelandic fishingLast month the company began regular ocean shipping of fresh cod, haddock and Arctic Char from Rekyjavik to Portland, Maine in partnership with Iceland-based Halldor Seafood. On arrival the product is trucked to Boston where the BluWrap atmosphere is released, the product evaluated and distributed to retail outlets.

BluWrap says its technology removes oxygen from the product and reduces CO2 emissions by over 99 percent without using ice or environmentally harmful polystyrene packaging. As a result the company claims the fish arrives at destination as if it had been caught the same day.

Halldor Seafood CEO Petur Georgesson said, "We're particularly interested in leading the way in Iceland by adopting and developing this cutting-edge technology to bring the very freshest seafood to our customers with the lowest impact on the environment. By using BluWrap's technology, not only are we getting an exceptionally high quality product, we also finally have an alternative to high-priced airfreight for the North American market. It's better for us, for our customers, our bottom line, and the environment."

The BluWrap website now publishes ocean shipping schedules from Reykjavik to Boston; and from Talcahuano, Chile to Panama City, Miami, Tokyo, Antwerp and St Petersburg, Russia.

"Iceland is one of the next new frontiers for BluWrap technology," said CEO Mark Barnekow: "Icelandic suppliers can reduce their contribution to CO2 emissions from expensive airfreight, and replace it with a much more cost effective and cleaner logistics option. Our project with Halldor not only demonstrates BluWrap's ability to ship cod, haddock and Arctic char with low impact on the environment, it also opens a new market for fresh, sustainable Icelandic product in volume," he added.

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