Pre and postharvest technologies are essential for growers and trade not only in meeting global demands of large-scale production of cut-flowers but also in gaining and maintaining consumer confidence. There are quite a number of techniques that are used by growers to ensure quality is maintained from harvest to when the product reaches the consumer. And as we've found out from several growers in East Africa, some of this techniques and products are clearly more effective than others.
We had a chat with Oscar Rietkerk, the Sales Manager of LiquidSeal who sheds light on what liquidseal coating mechanism is and the vital role their products play in combating infection of flower heads after harvest, during storage and transportation to final retail.
A chat with Oscar Rietkerk of Liquidseal
Give us a little background information about Liquidseal
LIQUIDSEAL is a 100% biodegradable coating, which helps to extend shelf life of flowers by controlling evaporation. Next to that it is possible to add chemicals to the LIQUIDSEAL. In that case LIQUIDSEAL works as a slow release system. Botrytis chemicals for example, can work up to 2 weeks or even more, while normally they would only work a few days. So this means you can protect your flowers against botrytis in the whole supply chain, from grower to consumer.
Growers always decide themselves which botrytis chemical they will use in combination with LIQUIDSEAL. Each grower/farm has their own preferences of which chemicals they want to use.
Which post-harvest crop products are available for flower growers in East Africa?
Liquidseal for roses (spray), Liquidseal for red roses (spray), Liquidseal for roses, for dipping, Liquidseal for gerberas and Liquidseal for chrysanthemum.
What tests are currently being conducted in East Africa and what is the status?
Many growers are currently already using LIQUIDSEAL. Tests have shown that LIQUIDSEAL is also beneficial for the overall quality when sending flowers via sea-container.
What type of feedback are you receiving from clients in this region? How receptive are they to liquidseal products?
We see that growers have less claims for botrytis. This means that that the quality perception of the clients is improving, and that reliability goes up. This all has a positive effect on the business of the growers. We have examples where growers had a reduction in claims of 95% due to the fact that they use LIQUIDSEAL in combination with a botricyde.
How can LIQUIDSEAL be used?
Several ways, these inlude: Dipping the flower heads in the solution, Spraying with a paint gun + compressor, Spraying in a grading machine where each rose is sprayed individually, Spraying in a tunnel where flowers sprayed from the top, when in buckets or nets. It is also important to note that when selling at the auction in Holland, it is possible to mention that the product is treated with LIQUIDSEAL; and a Liquidseal logo will be show at the auction clock.
Companies using LiquidSeal in their production to enhance the quality of their products, are entitled to use and carry the LiquidSeal logo. The logo is applied to standard packaging and wrapping by means of a sticker. This logo enables anyone in the distribution chain to, without further aid, differentiate a treated from un untreated product.
How can your clients in East Africa access more information about liquidseal?
In Kenya growers can contact our local agent Mr Sput Verwiel from Horticentre Kenya Ltd (CLICK HERE FOR WEBSITE); or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or check our website CLICK HERE.