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Pace International Hosts Thought Leaders to Discuss Industry Innovations and Research at Postharvest Academy Customer Event

WAPATO, Wash. – June 9, 2022 – Pace International, a leading provider of sustainable postharvest solutions and technologies for the fresh produce industry, hosted its customers at Pace’s 10th Annual Postharvest Academy on May 4, 2022, at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington. The customer-exclusive event brought together industry thought leaders to share timely research, innovations, and services in the postharvest industry.

“It was a refreshing opportunity to bring our customers and team together, in-person, for the 10th Annual Postharvest Academy,” said Jorge Gotuzzo, Sr. Global Marketing Director at Pace International. “We strive to be the premier source of postharvest education that supports efficient and sustainable operations at our customer sites, and this event is an example of providing resources and information that deliver on that mission.”

Thought leadership from across the fresh produce industry headlined this content-rich event. Pace International’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Rodrigo Cifuentes, welcomed attendees and shared Pace’s path forward with the vision to reinvent the postharvest systems of the future, together, with sustainability driven innovations and digital transformations, combined with exceptional service.

Cifuentes expanded on Pace’s digital and sensing technologies designed to improve packinghouse insights. He highlighted PackVisor™, a cloud-based platform housing multiple apps that capture and analyze data to develop better insights on fruit quality and operational efficiencies. Cifuentes also shared the benefits of Pace InSite™, a cloud-based data tool to digitalize, visualize and analyze packinghouse service reports.

Cifuentes reaffirmed Pace’s commitment to investing in innovative and bio-based solutions to improve efficacy, safety, and efficiencies with upcoming biocontrol products such as BioSpectra®, which is pending organic status, and PURE® Hard Surface for food contact surfaces.

Jessa Allen, CAE, USApple, Vice President of Membership & Events, previewed USApple’s Newton report, a 20-year aggregate of apple growing data that will be published this summer, during the presentation, “The Voice of America’s Favorite Fruit.”

Carolina Torres, M.S., PhD., Associate Professor Endowed Chair in Postharvest Systems, Department of Horticulture, Tree Fruit Research & Research Extension Center, Washington State University, shared her initial findings for preventing bitter pit, soft scald and ripening room challenges of storing organic apples, attributing possible solutions to Pace’s BioSpectra.

Trevor Suslow of Trevor Suslow Consulting, LLC, took attendees on a deep dive into the “Emerging Pillars of Produce Safety Optimization” addressing pathogens, mutations and other challenges fruit faces during postharvest handling and storage.

Members of Pace’s staff also shared the stage during the Postharvest Academy. Scott Christie, Pace International, Sr. Engineering & Application Services Manager, presented “Keeping Pace with Postharvest Technology and Innovation.” Christie’s presentation emphasized the importance of accessing the right information to make the right decisions during postharvest. For a solution, Christie presented Pace’s newest innovation, PackVisor™, which uses electronic sensors to monitor and keep records of application equipment throughout the line as well as telemetry capabilities to access controls remotely.

Christian Aguilar, Pace International, Senior Biology Scientist, Plant Pathology presented on “Postharvest Fungicide Resistance Management,” where she focused specifically on blue mold (Penicillium expansum) of pome fruit as a case study. Aguilar addressed the common question of fungicide rotation, stating that rotating postharvest fungicides of different chemical classes and modes of action, such as fludioxonil and pyrimethanil, on an annual basis reduces the occurrence of fungicide resistance. Aguilar emphasized sanitation and cultural control as being critical to an effective fungicide resistance program. Her research has also proved that poor decay control when using a fungicide is not always indicative of resistance.

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About Pace International LLC

Pace International LLC is a subsidiary of Valent BioSciences LLC, a Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. business. Pace collaborates with growers, packers and agricultural organizations to develop innovative solutions to enhance, protect, and preserve fruit and vegetable quality and freshness. Pace is the leading global provider of sustainable postharvest solutions and technologies, equipment and technical services to maximize efficiencies in packing operations and increase the freshness and value of harvested crops. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About Valent Biosciences LLC

Headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois, Valent BioSciences LLC is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. Valent BioSciences is the worldwide leader in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of biorational products, with sales in 95 countries around the world. Valent BioSciences is an ISO 9001 Certified Company. For additional information, visit the company’s website at

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