The Dutch company PerfoTec has been nominated out of more than 150 candidates for the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) along with 17 other companies. PerfoTec received its nomination for its latest innovation, which extends the freshness of fruits and vegetables, reducing waste at companies such as UK retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S).

For this prize, only the most eco-innovative companies that successfully combine innovation, competitiveness and outstanding environmental performance are selected. PerfoTec owes this nomination to the successful results already achieved with the shelf-life extending technology at leading growers and retailers.

By measuring the respiration of fresh fruits and vegetables and adjusting the packaging with the exact amount of micro-perforations, PerfoTec has managed to reduce waste at M&S by 50%. This increased the shelf-life of grapes from 5 to 7 days, and strawberries and raspberries from 3-4 to 5-6 days.

As well as the reduction in waste, it also leads to a reduction in cost and an increase in sales. Based on these results, M&S decided to switch to the PerfoTec system together with all its soft fruit suppliers. With this technology, food waste can be reduced because the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables will last longer.

The annual Dutch Fresh report, the main scorecard for Dutch retailers on fresh produce, shows that consumers find the quality and freshness of fruit and vegetables at retailers very important. This is also reflected in practice, because, after implementing the PerfoTec system with M&S, sales increased due to the improved quality.

PerfoTec commercial director Ivo Hendriks said: "This nomination is an acknowledgement that our shelf-life extending technology helps to make the fresh food sector more sustainable. The coming period PerfoTec will therefore focus on showing growers and retailers how they can benefit from the advantages that the system brings."

The EBAE awards ceremony will take place on 1 December during the Pollutec exhibition in Lyon, France.