“This technology is well-known in other industries, but we are the first farm in the world that will use it in cut flowers," Pablo Bazzani of Plazoleta Flowers proudly says. The technology he refers to is Dry-C, an innovative method that controls the temperature and humidity of their flowers before shipment. “It allows us to set the flowers in optimal conditions to handle external challenges during transportation that can impact their quality and freshness, hence, arriving at its final destination in the soundest conditions. We now control something most farms did not believe can be controlled."
But what is the reason of this Colombian flower farm for starting to use this technology? “Our flowers are exposed to external challenges during transportation that can go beyond our control. Extreme temperature changes, missing flight connections, and long transits in sea containers can impact the quality of our varieties. So, along the years we had seen how some claims came from our customers even when all the team did an exceptional job preparing the freshest flowers to our customer."
“We truly understand all the logistic challenges that our flowers have to sort out to get to the final destination, so we decided to tackle this issue hands-on, trying to get control on something most of the companies believe cannot control."
Together with the support of several Dutch companies, we started developing and implementing the Dry-C technology suitable for their cut flowers. “It was not just one thing; it is the result of gathering many improved processes usually used by the farms but including some technologies used for example in the food industry. Dry-C Technology is the result of years of hard work."
The trial period took more than six months setting all the different varieties lines. “It is not the same processing an Alstroemeria or a dry product like Limonium Sinensis, so the stricter challenge was to identify all the breakpoints in terms of temperature and humidity of each variety and type of flower we grow."
So how does it work? “It all starts at the field," explains Bazzani. “As soon as the flowers are cut we take them in record time to a temp controlled post-harvest. Once the flowers get to the line, they stop by a chamber that cools down the temperature to 4 degrees in a short time and takes off all the surface water, getting ready to start all the hydration, bunching and packaging process all under a temp controlled atmosphere. At the end of the process, all the boxes go through another chamber specially set depending on the variety that cools the flowers to 2 degrees again drying the flowers, so they get to the logistic agents in optimal conditions to start their journey to the final customer. Even more, resistant to any undesirable delay or temp variation."
According to Bazzani, Dry-C works outstandingly in all their varieties. “It gives exceptional results in Alstroemeria, Limonium Sinensis, Statice, Solidago, Snapdragon and Leucadendron."
One of their main goals is to reduce the number of claims. “We are still on the road to get more statistics, but our goal is to reduce all claims by 70% by the end of this year."
“All we are looking for by using this method is to keep our customers satisfied with the products we grow. We genuinely think that our biggest challenge is to provide competitiveness to our customer by choosing Plazoleta."