The Executive Board of German Florist Association FDF recently organized a roundtable discussion on the topic of freshness guarantees and quality control. In the end, all of the horticulture sector participants agreed: having an expiration date on cut flowers is a good idea.
“Opportunities, Perspectives, Feasibility: The cutting date as quality and freshness guarantee” was the title of the roundtable discussion. Invited to the FDF ‘FloristPark’ in Gelsenkirchen was a long list of renowned industry parties: Fleurop AG, the German Garden Retailers Association (Bundesverband Einzelhandelsgärtner), FleuraMetz, the Flower Council of Holland, Veiling Rhein-Maas (FloraHolland), and the Association of German Wholesale Flower Markets (Vereinigung Deutscher Blumengroßmärkte).
Following intensive discussions, the industry representatives drew the following conclusion: “the Round Table agrees that it is vital to introduce a cutting date for cut flowers for the sake of quality control. The desire for freshness and quality on the part of consumers, which can be tackled much more effectively by the trade than it currently is, would be addressed properly in this manner”.
Insecurity on the part of buyers about the longevity of cut flowers would be remedied by the measure to adopt and clearly display a cutting date on the packaging. That type of assurance would help strengthen consumer confidence and improve sales. The Round Table therefore recommends that the entire floriculture chain adopts this practice.
The participants simultaneously acknowledge that the measure may be just a first step towards better quality control. There is a clear consensus that the introduction of the cutting date cannot be realized overnight either, as the trade chain will first have to discuss the matter in detail.
Follow-up talks with a wider circle of horticulture industry representatives have therefore been announced. That next roundtable will take place in the November/December period of this year.
The introduction of a cutting date indication for flowers is not an entirely new idea. Representatives of the trade chain in The Netherlands agreed on a similar transparency system 8 years ago, but its implementation fell through due to financing issues.
Translated by: Jonas Zwitserlood