Ecoark Holdings, Inc. to Present at the 20th Annual ICR Investor Conference

Rogers, AR – December 15, 2017 Ecoark Holdings, Inc. (“Ecoark”) (OTCQX: ZEST), to be renamed Zest Technologies, Inc., an AgTech company, today announced that Randy May, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Jay Puchir, Chief Financial Officer; and Peter Mehring, Chief Executive Officer of Zest Labs, will participate in investor meetings and present at the 20th Annual ICR Investor Conference, to be held at the Grand Lakes Resort in Orlando, FL. The Company will present on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. ET. A webcast of the presentation will be available live on the Investor Relations section of Ecoark’s website at www.ecoarkusa.com

About Ecoark Holdings, Inc. and Zest Labs

Ecoark is an AgTech company modernizing the post-harvest fresh food supply chain for a wide range of organizations including growers, distributors and retailers. The company’s Zest Fresh™ solution, a breakthrough approach to quality management of post-harvest fresh food, is specifically designed to help substantially reduce the $161 billion amount of food loss the U.S. experiences each year. Through item-level monitoring and real-time predictive analytics, Zest Fresh enables customers to improve the freshness and quality of produce, realize substantial cost savings and reduce food waste. To learn more about Zest Fresh click here.

Forward Looking Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning business and possible or assumed future results of operations of Ecoark Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries; and statements concerning the ability of Zest Labs’ technology to improve delivered quality consistency, significantly reduce perishable food waste, drive sustainability, and increase efficiency in the industry. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons including: access to growth capital on favorable terms; adverse economic changes affecting markets we serve; competition in our markets and industry segments; our timing and the profitability of entering new markets; greater than expected costs, customer acceptance of our products or difficulties related to our integration of the businesses we may acquire; and other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and SEC filings. Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, they relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made, and our future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements may not meet these expectations. We do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this document to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.

Contacts:

Investor Relations:
John Mills, Managing Partner
ICR, Inc.
646-277-1254
John.Mills@icrinc.com

Public Relations:
Keith Watson
fama PR
617-986-5001
ecoark@famapr.com

Blockchain + IoT: Creating True Transparency Within The Food Supply Chain

Today’s food supply chain landscape is becoming increasingly dynamic. Non-traditional retailers like Amazon are disrupting the grocery business. Consumers are increasingly interested and invested in where their food comes from. Manufacturers are as much responsible for the quality of food as growers are. But one thing about the fresh food supply chain has remained consistent: mistakes in the handling or distribution of food — resulting in recalls or foodborne illness outbreaks — have the potential to irreparably damage brand reputation and the bottom line.

Can new technologies help?

To date, there has been limited technological innovation with the potential to transform how retailers and manufacturers deal with recalls or outbreaks. For the most part, dealing with foodborne illnesses and safety recalls has simply been reactive. When an issue occurs, you try to deal with it as best as you can, but the costs — including the time and resources spent trying to figure out where the outbreak or mishandling stemmed from, the collateral damage (i.e. food waste) of recalling products that aren’t contaminated and the brand/customer loyalty fallout that often follows — can batter your bottom line.

The Transparency Challenge

The CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year in the United States. And, according to the USDA, nearly 60 million pounds of food was recalled in 2016 alone. That’s a lot. But the history of food, in addition to the increase in food safety and quality regulations, gives us an indication of how we got to this point.

Consumers’ eating habits have drastically changed throughout the years, and with those habits brings new consumer demands and expectations. Traditionally, fresh food was grown, harvested and eaten all in a highly local environment. Now, thanks to consumer demands for having year-round availability of their favorite foods — particularly produce — our food supply chains span thousands of miles, meaning multiple days of handling starting from the growers and suppliers through to the grocery stores.

With this new reality, and the increase in players along the supply chain, transparency has become both incredibly difficult and increasingly important. While there are efforts to move back to a “farm-to-table” mentality, today’s supply chain still includes multiple manufacturing and shipping partners in between the farm and the consumer. The more food changes hands, the greater chance of mishandling, temperature discrepancies and more — all of which increase the risk for foodborne illness outbreaks and major food recalls.

If manufacturers and retailers had the tools to achieve “true transparency” throughout the entire fresh food supply chain, along with access to every link in the chain, everyone involved (including consumers) could have complete visibility into where food has been and if it has been handled and distributed correctly.

What if there was a way to enable food manufacturers and retailers to more quickly and accurately identify the source or sources of contamination? Further, what if there was the potential to improve delivered freshness and more easily identify problems before a product reached the consumer?

Achieving True Transparency with Blockchain and IoT

A foodborne illness outbreak or recall can be a manufacturer’s or retailer’s worst nightmare. But implementing a proactive solution for managing food safety — instead of relying on reactive responses — is easier than most would think, thanks to technology that exists today.

The first step in achieving true transparency is being able to gather the right data about the product at the pallet level. Studies have shown that the pallet is where variation occurs, not at the lot or trailer level. And, what’s important is monitoring the condition of the product, not the components of the supply chain such as the temperature of the pre-cooler or trailer.

We need to start in the field with the product at harvest, and then track its temperature and time throughout the supply chain. Did the broccoli sit out in the sun for multiple hours at the pack house, causing the chances of pathogen growth to increase? Was the cut/bagged lettuce washed and tested? We need to know its processing. Finally, we need to know the logistics at the distribution center and where the produce was shipped to. Implementing IoT sensors at the pallet level, and automatically collecting its data along every step of the supply chain from harvest or production through to the retailer is critical.

The second step for true transparency then becomes: what do manufacturers and retailers do with that data? Of course, there is immense value in collecting quality-focused data on its own, but blockchain is emerging as an important enabling technology to take IoT data and make it completely transparent, delivering security and trust across the supply chain. Blockchain takes the concept of a transaction ledger and brings it into the digital age through a continuous list of records (otherwise known as blocks) linked together and secured using cryptography. From a food quality and safety perspective, blockchain makes it easier to track a product’s journey through the supply chain and log data points about key safety and quality information at every stage.

Blockchain can enable us to be proactively notified of non-compliant product through smart contracts, and include pointers to relevant data about each pallet of product. Through the combination of blockchain and the data collected from IoT sensors, growers, distributors and retailers will be able to automate decisions through smart contracts to address food safety issues, identify and implement solutions for recurring problems, and — in the case of foodborne illnesses or recalls — proactively identify and remove products that are at elevated risk of contamination based on handling history. This means that manufacturers and retailers have the potential to eliminate products at risk before they even reach the consumer, reducing the issues that come from issuing a recall — including cost, consumer safety, damaged brand reputations and decreased customer loyalty.

While there isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to eliminating foodborne illnesses or contamination recalls, by implementing a solution using IoT and blockchain technologies in tandem, growers, processors and retailers have the potential to more efficiently track produce handling and quality, and make educated, proactive decisions about what food should (and shouldn’t) make it into consumers’ homes.

True transparency is the key to not only becoming a trusted partner in today’s dynamic food supply chain industry, but also meeting increasingly high consumer demands. The right application of IoT and blockchain can transform the supply chain, enabling manufacturers and retailers to have a shot at succeeding at both.

How Technology Is Reducing Food Waste

Adi Gaskell, Contributor
A London based innovation scout –

The USDA estimates that more than 30% of all food products in the United States are thrown away, costing the nation more than $161 billion per year, with equally significant environmental costs.  This is often due to an inefficient supply chain.

It’s a problem that has prompted a range of innovations all the way from farm to store. For instance, British startup the Small Robot Company have combined robotics and AI to ‘digitize the field’ and therefore offer precision farming on a ‘farming as a service’ model.  The aim is to provide the farmer with detailed information on their land, all the way down to a profit map that highlights the best areas to use, the best areas to rest and which plants to sow where and when.

The team believe that this use of technology would significantly reduce the amount of chemical used in arable farming, with estimates of both chemical and energy usage reductions of around 90%.

Smarter transit

There have also been innovations in the transit of foodstuffs.  For instance, a team from the Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology in Switzerland have developed sensors to monitor the state of fruit as it travels from farm to store. The sensor is designed to record the experience of the fruit in the pallet as closely as possible, so is the same size and composition as a fruit. The sensor provides constant feedback on the temperature in the container, because even minute changes are capable of significantly changing the speed at which picked crops ripen. This not only influences food wastage, but also creates variance in the use-by date on the produce.

Californian startup Zest Labs are bringing a similar technology to market. Their solution provides real-time data on the pallet to help people make smarter logistics decisions. For instance, if the contents are ripening quicker than expected, that produce can be re-routed to a nearer store to retain a good shelf life. When I spoke to the Zest Labs team earlier this year, they revealed that initial projects with retailers have allowed them to save around half of the 18% of produce that would ordinarily go to waste.

Smart sanitization

Further along the supply chain you’ve got Swiss startup ebeam Technologies.  A brand of the Comet Group, ebeam uses electron beams to sanitize crops and other dry foods, much in the same way that liquid food packaging is treated during the processing stage.

The technology is capable of sanitizing the food without damaging either the crop or its taste in any way.  They’re currently partnering with Swiss food giant Bühler to test out the technology, with the first installation at a Kündig facility in Germany.

A crucial aspect of the technology is its ability to sanitize the foodstuff without reducing essential qualities of the food.  In early tests on coriander, for instance, ebeam was able to sanitize the coriander whilst only slightly reducing the essential oils, with roughly 3 times less oil lost than when treated by steam.

They’re working with the Swiss food safety institute Agroscope to develop skills and competencies around the technology, but one of the key aspects in the development of the sector will be in the information that flows along the supply chain about each crop.

Smart data

Food giant Cargill’s have been experimenting with blockchain technology to help track turkeys from farm to market and give both consumers and supply chain staff a better understanding of the providence of each bird.

Consumers can text an SMS message complete with a code found on a tag on their turkey to determine exactly where the bird was from.  The information is held in the blockchain.

Whilst the project is only small-scale, it does nonetheless provide an interesting insight into how information about the food we eat can be stored.  With people increasingly keen not only to understand the nutritional contents of their food, but its providence, safety and environmental impact as well, blockchain is likely to be an important tool in providing that level of transparency.

Efficient production of safe food has huge implications, both for mankind but also for the environment.  The aforementioned innovations are just a handful of those designed to make the process more efficient.  All are at a relatively early stage of their journey, but it will be fascinating to watch their progress.

New Verizon Ad Sheds Light on Important Food Safety Issues

Verizon Enterprise last week launched a marketing campaign highlighting how its 4G LTE technology can be used in the cold supply chain. At Zest Labs, we applaud Verizon’s initiative to bring light to the issue of food safety, as well as the current technical and process challenges that continue to impact humans and our fresh food supply. The issue is so large, that to put it in pure economic terms, the USDA estimates the amount of food loss in the U.S. alone each year totals more than $161B.  And the industry simply accepts these losses as the cost of doing business.

The Verizon campaign astutely kicked off with a commercial about the importance of tracking the temperature of fish from its catch to either the restaurant or retailer. Temperature control of fresh seafood (or any other perishable) is critically important for food safety. In fact, researchers have found that one of the largest challenges associated with food safety and food waste is related to controlling and monitoring the consistency of food temperatures throughout the cold chain.

For the past five years, Zest Labs has been pioneering and piloting cold chain solutions with the understanding that successful initiatives require not only a strong wireless backbone and cost-effective sensors, but purpose-built software and analytics that apply true industry expertise. For successful adoption, the solution must be beneficial to all partners in the cold chain including the fishermen, ranchers and growers, along with the shippers and retailers. Our experience has shown us that if it isn’t, they simply won’t use it.

With both food safety and freshness in mind, we’ve developed Zest Fresh™ as the modern solution that addresses these quality consistency shortcomings. By combining cloud, mobile, cost-effective IoT sensors and item-level monitoring technology that supports real-time analytics, our customers have realized dramatic improvements in the quality consistency of perishable food for both consumers and retailers. Using the industry’s first freshness metric, Zest Fresh takes the Verizon initiative even further by calculating the remaining days of freshness to ensure proper distribution, food safety and that consumers are receiving the quality of food they want and expect.

Zest Labs approaches the cold supply chain challenge with this completeness in mind. We are network neutral and can support whichever technology provides the necessary level of reliability and support at the lowest cost. In addition to having a reliable network such as Verizon’s 4G LTE, it’s absolutely critical to have a solution that evaluates the data captured through the network. Zest Labs not only provides complete track-and-trace capabilities, but extends it to true supply chain transparency. For example, we can tell users the cold chain integrity, critical FDA requirements adherence (i.e. HACCP), and proper process completion – as well as traditional track and trace information – all necessary to provide complete food safety assurance. Zest Fresh also determines remaining shelf life of a pallet of strawberries to enable intelligent routing that ensures delivered freshness and reduced waste – and we can do it for pennies per item. This supply chain transparency is critical for food safety and authenticity and inherent in our Zest Fresh solution.

It’s great to have Verizon shedding some light on this very exciting market. With millions getting sick due to food borne illnesses, and up to 40 percent of America’s food going to waste, we’re going to need to find ways to maximize the freshness and safety of the food we produce. Be it fruits and vegetables, seafood or other proteins, Zest Labs is heads down focused on providing solutions for safer, fresher food that leads to reduced waste.

Ecoark Holdings Inc. Announces OTCQX Stock Symbol Change to ZEST

ROGERS, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ecoark Holdings, Inc. (“Ecoark”) (OTCQX: EARK), to be renamed Zest Technologies, Inc., an AgTech company, today announced that FINRA has allowed a change in the Company’s stock symbol trading on the OTC Markets. Effective tomorrow, November 30, 2017, the Company’s common shares will commence trading on the OTC Markets under the symbol “ZEST” (OTCQX: ZEST). Outstanding stock certificates will not be affected by the symbol change and will not need to be exchanged. All stock trading, filings and market-related information will be reported under the new stock symbol.

The Company will seek approval to formally change its name from Ecoark Holdings, Inc. to Zest Technologies, Inc. at the next annual shareholder meeting in the first half of 2018.

“Our new trading symbol is a step in the previously announced new corporate strategy of repositioning the Company from Ecoark, a diversified holding company, to Zest Technologies, Inc., an AgTech company focused solely on its Zest Labs asset,” stated Randy May, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This change is just one of many announcements we will be making as we continue on our mission of modernizing the fresh food supply chain.”

About Ecoark Holdings Inc. and Zest Labs

Ecoark is an AgTech company modernizing the post-harvest fresh food supply chain for a wide range of organizations including growers, distributors and retailers. The company’s Zest Fresh™ solution, a breakthrough approach to quality management of post-harvest fresh food, is specifically designed to help substantially reduce the $161 billion amount of food loss the U.S. experiences each year. Through item-level monitoring and real-time predictive analytics, Zest Fresh enables customers to improve the freshness and quality of produce, realize substantial cost savings and reduce food waste. To learn more about Zest Fresh click here.

Forward Looking Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning business and possible or assumed future results of operations of Ecoark Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries; and statements concerning the ability of Zest Labs’ technology to improve delivered quality consistency, significantly reduce perishable food waste, drive sustainability, and increase efficiency in the industry. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons including: access to growth capital on favorable terms; adverse economic changes affecting markets we serve; competition in our markets and industry segments; our timing and the profitability of entering new markets; greater than expected costs, customer acceptance of our products or difficulties related to our integration of the businesses we may acquire; and other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and SEC filings. Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, they relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made, and our future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements may not meet these expectations. We do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this document to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.

Contacts

Investor Relations:
ICR, Inc.
John Mills, 646-277-1254
Managing Partner
John.Mills@icrinc.com
or
Public Relations:
fama PR
Keith Watson, 617-986-5001
ecoark@famapr.com