The Cold Chain, What is it?
The term "Cold Chain" is often heard in the flower industry and as a Grower Direct customer you may have heard it used in one of our own flower shops. The Cold Chain is something that we are Grower Direct are strong advocates of and that we have worked diligently over the years to incorporate into our franchise system. We believe by doing so we provide our customers with the freshest longest lasting flowers possible.
So, what is the "Cold Chain"?
Well, in the simplest terms it is refrigeration. However in the big picture of commercially grown flowers it is much more than that. It is a temperature controlled supply chain from farm to consumer. It can be defined as an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities (a chain) which maintains a given temperature range which is vital to the longevity of fresh cut flowers.
Just like the produce in your home refrigerator cut flowers benefit from being kept cool. In fact in the world of post harvest care and handling, temperature can be a matter of life and death for fresh cut flowers. Flowers respire faster at higher temperatures and water loss is increased resulting in decreased longevity. How Much?
Studies have shown that flowers exposed to 68° F for 8 to 40 hours showed a 30 - 40% decrease in vase life when compared to flowers held at a constant temperature of 46° F. Now keep in mind that the optimal temperature for transporting and storing cut flowers is 34°-38° F. The same study also showed that damage caused by cold chain breaks was worst when it occurred late in the supply chain. Think about this the next time you are in your local supermarket and all the flowers are displayed in open air at room temperature!
We take great pride in the fact that we are leaders in the Cold Chain technology, starting at the time of cut, in our Miami facilities, on our temperature trucks, and finally within our retail locations. At Grower Direct all of our stores feature walk-in temperature and humidity controlled coolers. Our flowers are processed immediately upon arrival and rushed straight into an environment specifically designed to ensure that our customers receive the maximum enjoyment and longevity from our flowers in the home and workplace.