One can grow a beautiful plant or cut flower, but when post-harvest treatment isn't adequate, it will lose quality fast. Packaging is one element in this post-harvest process, and in this Special Year Overview item, we will look back at 10 stories we've shared in 2022.
Farm-to-consumer trend: an opportunity to rethink the role of packaging
"We want to grow with our growers" might sound cliche, but in times of scarcity of raw materials, it is not always possible for suppliers to do so. Looking at the cardboard industry, for example. A rise in flower shipments means an increase in demand for cardboard. Worldwide, however, there is a scarcity of paper and other raw materials. Unless you produce it yourself, like Smurfit Kappa through its forest plantations in Colombia. Over the last Covid-19 years, they have not only been able to supply their growers, but they were also able to quickly respond to the changing demand with speed to market, like the 'directly from the farm to the end consumer' trend. In this article, José María Estela, the General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Bogotá, tells us all about it, but also about the current challenges they are facing and their future plans.
"People want to become more sustainable, and the transport tray plays a role in this"
Plastic has gotten a negative name in recent years. This isn't necessary, however, as long as the chain is closed, says Lisa van Koningsveld with Modiform. "In terms of sustainability, you can take steps as a company, but to really make a difference, collaboration is essential." For this reason, they started the TrayC system at Landgard last year, where the goal is to keep transport trays within a circular system. "It prevents downcycling, reduces the use of plastic, and also addresses the problem with non-recycled transport trays." The range has already expanded from 5 to 11 models in different sizes, and the interest from growers and retailers is increasing.
"This certificate helps promote sales"
At Gerbera van Megen, a floricultural company based in Straelen in the Lower Rhine region, sustainability is a top priority. Run by Thomas van Megen and his father Hans- Peter, the family business cultivates more than 110 different gerbera varieties across 1.5 hectares of greenhouses. Since May 2021, the family business has been packaging its ornamentals exclusively in paper with the help of an innovative packaging machine. "We are the only gerbera producer in Europe that has dared to take this step," emphasizes the junior manager. The paper packaging is made from 80% recycled material and bears the FSC seal. "Our customers have reported a renewed increase in the sale of our products thanks to the paper packaging.
"Our flower packaging keeps cut flowers fresh during transport"
This year, sustainability plays a central role at the IFTF in Vijfhuizen and Trade Fair in Aalsmeer. "At Chrysal, sustainability is an integral part of who we are and how we work. At this year's fairs, the company will be placing the spotlight on two new sustainable innovations. Firstly our Chrysal Sea Freight Service was nominated for a Greenovation award. A post-harvest service concept that keeps flowers fresh and controls Botrytis during sea freight and long storage, reducing the carbon footprint of transport by as much as 92%. Secondly, Arrive Alive Eco is a flower packaging that keeps the condition of cut flowers fresh during transport," the team with Chrysal comments.
Clayrton's targets full-paper packaging for flowers and plants
Inventor of the pleated PVC 'Manchette' to dress pot plants in 1968, Clayrton's has set itself the objective of achieving 100% paper by 2030. "We went from 30% to 41% of paper consumed in two years, and we aim for 100% bio-sourced or recycled by 2030", announced Alban-Josse Lepoutre, who runs with his brother, Tristan-Guirec, the company created by their parents in 1968. After two years of R&D, Clayrton's has developed a specific paper with its suppliers that can withstand water 'without making a blotter,' the two directors underline.
FTD introduces sustainable packaging for all Farm-to-door orders
FTD now offers sustainable packaging for all farm-to-door floral orders. They are 100% recyclable with plastic-free and compostable components. But there is more...
"Bamboo sleeve: functional and less harmful to the environment"
Bac Orchids in Moerkapelle, together with Koen Pack in Amstelveen, developed a bamboo sleeve for Cymbidium cut flowers. Coming up with custom packaging was a learning process for both parties. "Our aim was to make functional packaging that really adds something in terms of sustainability. And we succeeded", both parties say with pride.
"We are thrilled to achieve this major milestone and provide successful post-harvest solutions"
Verdant Technologies announces the rollout of its HarvestHold Fresh product life extension solution to the produce industry after receiving EPA registration in early September. HarvestHold is a 1-MCP-based post-harvest solution that extends the usable product life of fruits, vegetables, and flowers by an average of 40-50% and significantly reduces wastage in perishable supply chains. Verdant's floral life extension solution, HarvestHold Bloom, was made available to global floral markets in late 2020. Verdant plans to offer HarvestHold in all fifty states and many countries worldwide, with product availability following individual state and country approvals.
US (FL): "This new building enables us to drastically reduce our carbon footprint"
Koen Pack USA recently moved to a new location in Doral, Miami (FL). "This new building is bigger, more modern, better located, and above all, it enables us to reduce our carbon footprint as we will be producing our own pot covers," says Marco Zwaan, CEO of North America of this flower and plant packaging company.
Hoek flowers launches a new sustainable, reusable export box
Hoek flowers is aware that we have to work together to make the world greener and cleaner. Ruben Hoek, CEO of Hoek group, says, "A sustainable future, only together we create impact. In collaboration with our existing partner Van Vliet - Newwen, we developed our efficient, sustainable export box. The export box is reusable and equipped with RFID, Barcode, and QR, which makes the logistic process of the export boxes traceable. With the introduction of the recyclable export box, Hoek flowers take a step towards a world with 0% waste and 100% circularity'.