In the past few years Kenya has become one of the top-5 biggest cut-flower exporters, supplying flowers all over the world. As an example - a local company, Karen Roses Ltd. They deliver their products mainly to the UK and Europe, and are trying to expand to new markets such as Middle and Far East countries. In order to stay competitive in these faraway markets, the company must pursue ways to keep flowers at the peak of freshness even during shipping. With this in mind, they are always seeking new practices and solutions that might benefit them in the marketplace.
In June at their cut flower storage facility, Karen Roses agreed to test Miatech’s Bio Turbo System, an innovative technology that eliminates ethylene and fungal spores from the air. The test was run by Ice-In Refrigeration Engineering, Miatech`s partner in East Africa.
Fungal diseases have a major impact on cut-flower plantings. While many of them don’t kill the flowers, they can drastically reduce their marketability. Karen Roses shared that the main issue for them is Botrytis, as it easily spreads throughout storage rooms, infecting many flowers.
After testing Bio Turbo during one week, the company shared that “the rejection went down, no sign of Botrytis, wilting, fungi etc. were noticed for the test period”. They also reported that losses were cut from 10% to 4%, and during the test period the incurred losses were caused only by physical damages while packing.
This test may signal a breakthrough in storage and transportation of cut flowers. Unlike using chemicals or the usual air purifying equipment, this simple technology doesn’t require costly and frequent maintenance. It can be used in the storage room as well as in the shipping container, allowing for the delivery of peak-of-freshness flowers even to far away customers.