SeaProof® Chrysanthemum retains quality after four weeks of shipping by sea
There is a developing market for chrysanthemums coming from Colombia, East Africa and Asia. The importance of sea freight over air freight is growing, for several reasons. In order to ship these flowers sustainably, more and more of the shipping is taking place with ocean shipping containers. Royal Van Zanten is therefore testing all genetic breeds with a unique ‘sea container protocol’. It identifies how well each Royal Van Zanten variety can be shipped by sea. Seaworthy or SeaProof® varieties retain their high quality after four weeks of shipping by sea and keep their beauty in the vase for at least two more weeks.
“Our Bonita, a white chrysanthemum with double flowers, is already being shipped on a large scale from Colombia to the USA, England and Chile, for example. Practice has already shown us that Bonita is a variety that “travels” very well by sea. Soon we will be able to use the SeaProof® label to indicate the seaworthiness of all our varieties. This is valuable information for growers, traders and retailers worldwide. In addition, it allows our Breeding to use the ‘suitability for sea transport’ criteria in its breeding programme,” says Hans Bosman, chrysanthemum product manager at Royal Van Zanten.
Royal Van Zanten is using the sea container protocol to indicate what the transport options are for each of its chrysanthemums. This makes shipping by sea possible for more varieties.
Sea container protocol
In special customised facilities, Royal Van Zanten recreates the conditions of shipping by sea. Five to ten stems are harvested from each variety to be placed in boxes in the sea shipping container simulator. They stay there for four weeks under specific conditions. Then the flowers go to the flowering room, where they are placed in vases at room temperature. Next, the flowers are evaluated for various quality characteristics every other day.
“In the flowering room, we record the quality characteristics of each vase every other day. If substandard, that bunch is discarded. We are looking for varieties that are strong enough to stay beautiful for at least two weeks after shipping by sea,” says Daaf Smit, breeding trials specialist at Royal Van Zanten.
Royal Van Zanten varieties that are already shipped by long-distance sea transport include the chrysanthemums Bonita and Bonita Sunny. Early this year we started testing other varieties. In the coming months we are going to expand our research and protocol further and we expect to see more results. #wecaresoweact