Catalan economist who invented ‘magic’ envelope so food lasts longer in the fridge

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After dedicating herself to the financial world for over 25 years, Marta Pastor decided to take a “moral” turn in her life in December 2019. One morning, four months before the outbreak of the pandemic, she proposed to her current partner – the one she was living in. A completely innovative business idea in Canada—Europe. Some envelopes, which guarantee greater durability of fruits and vegetables, after setting them in the fridge. Six months later, each one of the households – among the harshest of imprisonments – appeared for the first time On the marketable NaturePod. “We have managed to develop a technology that sanitizes, decontaminates and improves the quality of what we eat at a very low cost,” he says.

its main function The absorption of ethylene is What is the substance that certain foods leave behind and which contributes to their rapid spoilage? “Ethylene is a plant hormone that accelerates ripening. It is a natural process that When putting fruit in the fridge“It multiplies fast”, says the entrepreneur. The natural clay mixture impregnated with the active ingredient—potassium permanganate—contained in its sachets can triple the shelf life of food. “We see an average annual savings of about 600 euros talking about”.

Pastor, CEO and Co-Founder, He left his job as manager of a company dedicated to exporting food to developing countries in early 2022, only to focus on NaturePods. “I have been contemplating a definite career change for some time. In addition, I have always been very sensitive to the environment, the sustainability of projects and a healthy diet. And they are our fundamental pillars”, he says in his center in Barcelona. informs by videoconferencing from the office.

moral obligation

Trained in economics, the Catalan businessman has studied at business schools such as IESE and ESADE, in addition to taking a course at the London Business School. After directing several food and consumer goods companies, he realized he “needed” to transform the sector urgently. “After more than a third of the food was thrown away, much of it just because of its appearance, I felt a moral obligation to do something about it.”

This is the first time that this technology has been exported to Europe and made available to the consumers. It wasn’t until 2021 that the product – in the form of a small box – finally hit the market. The project started thanks to financing, based on its own funds, which amounted to over 200,000 euros. One of the keys to its success is the price: 8.90 euros for a box of three sachets, each of which has a minimum term of 30 days. For now they have reached a turnover level of 150,000 euros and they expect to balance income and expenses this December.

In addition to online sales—which are currently carried out in Spain, the United States and Canada—they have an extensive network of stores where products are sold, most of which are located in and around the Catalan capital. Nationally, they plan to leapfrog into two big supermarket chains from September. “Acquiring this type of agreement is proving more complicated than expected. They all claim to be ecological and sustainable, but then they do not want to introduce this type of product, alleging that users consume less. and their sales will be affected.”

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