Why is proper postharvest care of cut flowers and plants important from a sustainability standpoint?

Tens of billions of stems are harvested globally for consumers to enjoy all around the world. These stems receive hydration and treatment in the fields or greenhouse, hydration and treatment after harvest, packing and shipping to travel to their end market, rehydration, treatment, packing and shipping at wholesale or bouquet operation and then again further care at the florist or supermarket. All while maintaining a cold chain. It is estimated that 15% of these stems never make it to the end consumer with heavier waste occurring later in the supply chain. The quantity of inputs such as water, treatment products, packaging, fuel and energy wasted is staggering and cannot be recaptured by simply composting the dying stems. Correct postharvest care helps to significantly reduce this loss.