Flower on Waves

Introduction
Ter Aar-Holland, April 2006

Although a lot of changes and progress has been made in both production as well as commerce of cut flowers during the last 25 years, the final consumer nowadays is still only interested in fresh, long lasting flowers at a good price. Most of these changes existed in renewing assortment, increasing production, lowering costs and globalisation in order to be able to keep up with the continuously changing consumer needs.

Extensive globalisation and elaborated concentration of production abroad have changed the worldwide flower market from a rather traditional production market into a flourishing commercial one. Nowadays almost all types of flowers are almost year-round available in several appearances and everything needs to be faster!! The dark side of this tendency is situated in the fact that distances towards final markets have increased, air transport volume has increased, logistics have increased, probability of making mistakes has increased and also the costs increased. Although the increase of the oil price has been compensated until now by a good euro/dollar rate, the warning signs are on, and all involved realize the possible consequences.

In order to prevent having these extra costs, FTG Holland started an investigation program years ago in order to be able to find a solution to decrease large parts of these costs up to 50%! Several years of testing and trialling at FTG in Ter Aar as well as abroad have finally lead to a concept that makes it possible to transport fresh cut flowers in a revolutionary way. This concept is now known as Flower Transport Gel®.

After years of simulating and testing, FTG Holland, in combination with well known Kenyan growers of cut flowers, transported fresh cut flowers from Nairobi- Kenya to Aalsmeer-Holland with a sea/reefer container. The flowers were shipped from Nairobi on January 12th and the container arrived at her final destination in Aalsmeer on February 3rd. All the flowers were bunched, packed and sleeved with Flower Transport Gel® to keep the flowers hydrated.

Upon arrival in Aalsmeer, the container was unpacked and all flowers were checked by independent VGB inspectors in accordance with VGB-criteria. Samples were taken and put in our facilities for an additional vase-life test, and the rest of the flowers where auctioned the following market day receiving good prices. The vase-life test showed that there was no significant difference in comparison with the same types of flowers placed in water directly after harvesting.

We can therefore draw the conclusion that there is a revolutionary new transport medium for flowers, being "shipping" flowers. Flowers shipped on Flower Transport Gel® have proven to be successful. Every exporting flower company is now able to reduce up to 50% of transport costs without losing quality and freshness.

The whole process from harvesting through shipment, and finally the vase life test has been documented by an independent external company. Pictures have been taken in order to give the right impression. All this information is available for those interested.

We hope to have served you with this information so far and for any question/remark or additional information, we will be available to answer them.

Mr. H. Vonk.
Managing director FTG Holland.