AFI invests in decentralized, locally sourced frozen fruit and vegetable company.
One of the reasons to eat truly local foods is you get to eat with the seasons – fresh onions in the spring, juicy tomatoes in the summer, figs in the fall, and greens in the winter. For some, eating in sync with nature creates a more meaningful connection to the world and ultimately to our lives.
There are limitations to this type of diet, though. It can take considerable time and effort to source produce locally, consistently. Limited availability of locally grown items can be an issue. It’s tough to find fresh, locally grown strawberries in Central Texas for the majority of the year.
So, when we heard from Patrick Mateer, CEO of Seal the Seasons, our ears perked up. Seal the Seasons is dedicated to making more local food available more of the time to more consumers by simply freezing and packing fruits and vegetables when they are seasonally available. So, if a farm has a bumper crop of peaches, a company like Seal the Seasons can buy some peaches, freeze them, and sell frozen peaches through the rest of the year when it might otherwise not be available fresh. By marketing and selling these frozen peaches to local customers, these peaches remain local.
Seal the Seasons is only the second company Austin Foodshed Investors has funded outside of Texas (the other was Zepheira in VA). We feel that Seal the Seasons is unique, in that they utilize a highly decentralized mode of sourcing, freezing, and storing their product. They work meticulously with co-packers (businesses that lease out food processing equipment and staff to other food companies) to ensure they can create a product that is in line with Seal the Seasons’ procurement practices of local sourcing. In this way, they are able to source and distribute their product locally within regions. Every package is labelled on the front with where the contents came from. Rather than that package getting shipped off thousands of miles, it is sold within the region it was produced.
While Seal the Seasons product is not currently available in Central Texas, there are plans to expand to our neck of the woods. We’re looking forward to maybe eating some frozen Fredericksburg peaches or Poteet strawberries in the not so distant future.
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