Syngenta Flowers announces the introduction of Xcarrier: a new system to optimize production and distribution methods of young plants. Xcarrier has been developed by Syngenta Flowers and brings three advantages in young plant production and distribution into one smart solution: a reusable rooting tray that is similar to disposable plastic trays; a shipping frame that holds the rooting tray during distribution and is compatible with Syngenta Flowers’ Xtray. Also, the complete system provides a closed loop where trays are returned, cleaned and reused in line with our sustainable Xtray process.
“The introduction of Xcarrier is a big step on many different levels of product quality and process efficiency for our customers and Syngenta Flowers,” says Mark Schermer, Global Head of Syngenta Flowers. “The Xtray was introduced in 2001, and now, 20 years later, it is time to take it to the next level.”
The Xcarrier brings three advantages in young plant production and distribution into one smart solution. The rooting tray is designed in conjunction with the characteristics of the current one-way plastic trays for optimal production practices - benefitting plant health and quality. Moreover, the rooting tray is designed to tap into the benefits of paper pot production currently utilized and proven in the plastic propagation trays. It is easy for the manual and automated transplanting and will reduce the risk of damage to the young plants during the process.
“With a two-piece system we have been able to design the production tray for optimal rooting conditions," said Lennart Johnson, technical specialist.
The shipping frame is designed to hold the rooting tray and make them stackable on pallets for efficient distribution combined with our Xtrays. This reduces the use of CC trolleys in the distribution process. With 11 cm plant space while being stacked, the Xcarrier significantly reduces the risk of damage to the plants.
The rooting tray and shipping frame are easy to combine but can also efficiently be stored separately to save storage or truck space required when empty.
The complete system provides a closed loop where trays are returned, cleaned and reused in line with our Xtray process. This will reduce the use of one-way disposable plastic trays (up to over 200.000 trays yearly) and consequently shipping less plastic waste into the market.
“Xcarrier has many innovative features. Currently we are checking opportunities for usage and out licensing beyond Syngenta Flowers," said Josef Fischer, Innovation manager.
“The new system went from drawing table to reality within a year and the first deliveries on the new Xcarriers are scheduled starting week 16 / 17 this year,” says Nick van Uffelen, Xcarrier Project lead. The Xcarrier will be introduced in phases, starting with 2 selected crops: pelargonium and mandevilla. The new system's usage will grow in the coming years, with potentially other crops being produced in the new trays. All to the benefit of quality, sustainability and efficiency in our young plant production and distribution.