The Cold Chain: Learn it, Love it, Live it!
The Cold Chain – it’s hard to overstate its importance in the world of floral retail. One way to appreciate the contribution the Cold Chain makes to our livelihoods is to learn about all the various stops on a flower’s journey from farm to consumer. That’s the journey Floralife® makes in our latest piece for Florists’ Review, “The Best Floral Care Requires Keeping Cool.”
Ever since flowers largely stopped coming from a farm outside of town and started coming from a farm in a different hemisphere, logistical issues have grown in importance. When your blooms are traveling thousands of miles, conditions have to be just right, with a special emphasis on temperature:
The cold chain is arguably the most important aspect of floral management, one that must start almost immediately post-harvest. It should remain consistent throughout the flowers’ journey, from field to floral professional with coverage in transport and customs, and continuing at its retail destination.
“Remaining Consistent,” by the way, means maintaining a temperature between 34 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.1 to 3.3 degrees Celsius. And it means avoiding temperature fluctuations between refrigerated and non-refrigerated environments – the consequences of which are in the article!
How do we achieve this? Here’s the speed tour! It starts at the farm, where flowers at harvest are immediately hurried onto refrigerated trucks (when possible). Then, to a refrigerated room to remove field heat before grading, bunching, and packaging, and then being placed into cool hydrating solution. A refrigerated truck goes to the airport, then onto a refrigerated cargo plane. Upon arrival in Miami, flowers go to a refrigerated hall to await Customs. Back on the cold truck to the bouquet operation and/or retail.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. Retailers have their own set of Cold Chain responsibilities, but you’ll have to read the original piece. So do that, won’t you?
Tools for Cold Chain Success
And, as you might imagine, your friends at Floralife® offer a number of fine products to help your flowers along their journey. These include:
…and plenty of flower care and handling advice!