SEATTLE, USA: RipeLocker, a leader in extending the post-harvest life of perishables, today announced its RipeLocker containers held freshly harvested roses in beautiful condition for four weeks. In recent trials with Queen’s Flowers, a breeder, grower, importer and bouquet manufacturer in the floral industry, RipeLocker demonstrated how its containers could support the company in supplying to global markets. Based on the strong results of the trials, Queen’s Flowers plans to use commercial RipeLocker containers when they become available this summer.
The patented, dynamic, low-atmosphere RipeLocker containers are used for storing and shipping fresh produce and flowers, and extend the post-harvest life by weeks, often months. They are pallet-size, made from recycled materials and are reusable. The company has already completed efficacy trials with several high-value commodities such as berries, pomegranates, cherries, papayas, fresh hops and flowers.
Especially attractive to Queen’s Flowers was that RipeLocker containers slowed down senescence (aging) and decay of the flowers. After being in the RipeLocker containers for four weeks, the roses also had better vase-life for end customers than those shipped via traditional methods.
Decay, primarily caused by Botrytis cinerea, is a major issue facing the flower industry due to the optimal conditions for fungal growth, rapid spread in growing environments and their tendency to quickly develop resistance to synthetic fungicides. The low atmosphere of the RipeLocker containers provide antifungal activities that suppress further decay development.
RipeLocker containers also will enhance Queen’s Flowers distribution chain management by enabling them to increase flower availability for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the December holidays. With RipeLocker containers, the flower company will be able to build up its inventory by holding freshly harvested flowers for several weeks prior to these holidays.
“RipeLocker containers can have a tremendous positive impact on the quality and lifespan of fresh produce and flowers, which leads to significant ROI for growers and packers.” said George Lobisser, CEO and co-founder of RipeLocker. “These great results with Queen’s Flowers build on strong results we have had with an increasing list of companies on an array of perishables.”
“RipeLocker containers are enabling us to look at our business in news ways,” said David Gonzalez, general manager at Queen’s Flowers. ”By extending the life of our flowers and minimising decay, the RipeLocker containers enable us to offer our customers better quality flowers.”
RipeLocker containers offer a unique, patented system to precisely manage the atmosphere (oxygen, pressure, CO2 and humidity) within the containers to extend the life of perishables. Based on the specific needs of each type of fresh produce or flower, RipeLocker tailors these operating parameters to optimize the longevity and freshness.
The system responds to changes in the storage or shipping environment, making automatic precise adjustments to prevent damage and reduce decay. RipeLocker employees monitor all this remotely and in real time.
RipeLocker designed its containers so that they can easily be deployed and used in the existing cold chain. They are pallet-size, stackable and 40 of them fit into an ocean or truck reefer (refrigerated container). Produced via injection molds, the RipeLocker container is the first solution that can be delivered cost effectively in mass volume. RipeLocker has patents on both the container design and method of operation.
The commercial version of the RipeLocker container is scheduled to be available this summer. RipeLocker is actively taking orders for use of its RipeLocker containers with produce and flower categories on which it has conducted significant efficacy trials. RipeLocker containers are leased to customers on an annual basis and the realized returns far exceed the cost of the lease. Purchase options are available with a lower user fee.