23 February 2018
FlowerWatch a Netherlands-based centre of expertise and worldwide trendsetter in monitoring and ensuring the quality, value and vase life or shelf life of fresh-cut flowers. Our payoff: ‘Happy customers, profitable supply chains!’. We spoke to FlowerWatch’s Jeroen van der Hulst about this complex undertaking.
About FlowerWatch’s mission:
“Our mission was and is being a leader in research, technology and education in cold chain flower transportation so that flowers will look their best at the end of the supply chain. Our customers have adapted to that mission. Our output appears to be not only better quality, but also more efficient logistically.
About the impact of technical developments:
We learn from old and new research. With our partners Bexter and Upande we recently launched the first LORA-WAN network in Kenya, an ‘internet of things’ technology, offering new opportunities for monitoring supply chains. Surprisingly, it’s not the ideas of the internet that held us back, but the ‘things,’ the sensors. Another technology, the Watch-itT label helps clients monitor their cool chain better, which in the end helps to improve it. These systems make Kenya state-of-the-art in cool chain technology.
Thesis: “An insight throughout the cold chain is lacking, savings early on, can lead to waste or extra cost further down the chain”
Consumers worldwide ask for a long vase life of flowers, no matter where they come from. In order to predict that vase life, FlowerWatch uses the concept of degree hours, the average temperature of fresh flowers multiplied by the number of hours they’re under way (1 degree hour = 1 hour x 1°). Every 500 degree hours reduces vase life by one day. The industry benchmark is a cool chain in which there is no more than a one day loss of vase life. But many chains don’t reach that objective thus ruining the value of shipments.
FlowerWatch helps with calculating temperatures, identifying mistakes and creating cost-effective solutions.
About the integral chain.
“A good cool chain start at the breeder’s, development of botrytis resistant cultivars that are suitable for long distance cool chain transport as consumers grow pickier and flower transports tend to go worldwide. We would like to work together with breeders on improving their assortment. We also want to improve the growers’ level of knowledge, especially in understanding the ‘supply chain characteristics’ of the varieties they choose to grow. When we optimize the chain, three-week bouquets are no longer a dream.”