Unpacking and quality control
After passing through customs and inspections, the flowers were delivered in a cooled truck to unpacking-location, where all flowers were to be unpacked and prepared for auction or direct sales. The flowers entered directly from the cooled truck into the cold store at unpacking location in order to maintain the ‘cold-chain’. The temperature setting in the cold store at 2,1 degrees Celsius. After that the unpacking and control started. The control was done in accordance with the VBN-criteria (see www.vbn.nl for criteria) and was done by several independent individuals. Besides VBN-members, also staff of FTG Holland and representatives of cut flower importing companies were present to give their objective and professional opinion about the quality of the flowers and also an external person instructed by Asocoflores to inspect in order to control the whole process being done correctly. Apart of the quality and freshness of the flowers, there was also control/inspection about temperature, humidity and CO levels within the flowers.
Unpacking itself is normally not that difficult, but this time, due to the large amount of different species, colours, weights and lengths, it turned out to be quite a puzzle, as the European (Dutch) market requires minimum quantities per specie, length, colour and weight. (For example: 100 Chrysanthemum Euro White, 60 cm and 50 gr.)
Although scepticism and high expectations, it can already be state that en general the flowers arrived in good conditions. All the flowers were marked upon arrival and pictures were taken of each separate variety of each participating company. This was done to get an objective view and to be able to inform each participant exactly about the status of the arrival of his/her flowers and what could be improved. This is a very important issue, as each producing company has its own methods of producing, harvesting and packing. By analysing and evaluating the separate delivered types of flowers for each participant, more conclusions could be drawn in terns of ideal packaging. Pre-cooling and harvesting.