AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands: The announcement that Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s flower flow out of Colombia has gained FlowerWatch approval will be made at Profolora 2019, Bogota, Colombia (2 – 4th October).
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s degree-hour controlled shipping method has been specially designed to handle delicate flowers. Mr Erick Maurous, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s Global Head of Perishables Logistics explained: ” “By implementing the FlowerWatch quality assurance system in the main flower markets, we are not only improving the quality and vase life of fresh-cut flowers but also fostering vertical collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the supply chain. We are the first airline to gain the certification, making it a reaffirmation of our commitment to the flower industry”.
Since Air France KLM Martinair Cargo successfully launched their first FlowerWatch certification in Kenya last June (2019) they have continued to extend the programme to other flower markets.
Cold-chain management has emerged in recent years as a vital success factor in the post-harvest life of fresh flowers. Temperature exposure during storage and transportation contributes to discolouring, wilting, poor flower opening and premature ageing. The end result is reduced vase life, often by several days. FlowerWatch has developed a fail-safe Quality Assurance system. This system does not just identify challenges in the cold chain, it actually helps to permanently fix them. The system’s central concept is ‘time-temperature exposure’, which is expressed in degree hours. This is the average temperature of your fresh flowers throughout transportation multiplied by the number of hours (1 degree hour = 1 hour x 1 degree Celsius). Every 500 degree hours reduces vase life by one day. The key to successful cold chain performance is to minimise the number of degree hours.
On a yearly basis, AFKLMP Cargo ships approximately 32,000 tonnes of fresh flowers from Colombia (11,000) and Ecuador (21,000) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.