Packing and Preparing Shipment

Bogota - November 20th 2006

Adjusted a short impression of the packing- and pre-loading stage of the trial shipment of fresh cut flower over sea from Colombia to Europe. The whole process for the first shipment on FTG Gel®, starting with harvesting the flowers, started on Sunday 19th (Rionegro) and Monday 20th (La Sabana) November last. Although otherwise instructed, almost all flowers were pre-treated for a longer self life but not the real time necessary for optimal result. After that the flowers were processed in the normal way and placed directly into Flower Gel® and a sleeve. The total amount of Gel® used varied from type of flower, species and the total stems per sleeve. During this shipment the small, manual sleeve was being used, as they were the most convenient for this trial. At the moment 'The All-in-1' Gel®-sleeve is already available on semi-automatic machinery that makes it possible to process more quantities of flowers per hour. It was recommended to pre-cool flowers after being placed in the box and the big bag before closing so that cold air could easily get in. The great difference in temperature (from 3, 1 until 20, 2 degrees Celsius!) upon arrival at central loading place in Bogotá, learned that not all participants follow the same routing and that there is a lot left to improve.

The flowers that arrived to warm were unpacked and cooled again overnight until the desired temperature of 2-3 degrees Celsius was achieved. Upon arrival all the boxes with flowers were checked for narcotics by a special team in order to make sure that the first FTG Gel® shipment would not make a notorious history. After arrival all the boxes were collected, controlled and placed on pallets. A remark is that the 'tobaccos' are not the best boxes to use for this kind of transport, as without their top they lose a lot of the strength. The last boxes were received on Tuesday morning 21st and after that the whole process of loading the truck started in order to make sure that it could leave from Bogotá at 14.00 hours. Before departure and finishing the final documents, the truck was sealed.