In an attempt to describe the farm-to-consumer journey of flowers, take the quote “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” by early Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, and change the word “step” to “stem.” Even though this isn’t a completely accurate account of the distances many flowers travel, it does suggest that transit times are integral as flowers make their way from global locations to waiting consumers.
As consumer and market demands for cut flowers continue to increase worldwide, transportation and logistics must keep pace and meet these demands. With additional shipments, trade routes and countries entering the floral industry as potential competitors, many factors need to work together so millions of stems can make the journey from farm to consumer as seamlessly and cost-effectively as possible.
In this issue of Super Floral, we take a look at the amount of cut flowers that move through Miami, Fla. – a city that boasts the top U.S. airport for international freight, as well as the largest container seaport in the state. Through our research, we learned where the millions of flowers that arrive in Miami begin their journeys and how they reach their final destinations. Both airfreight and sea freight statistics proved as impressive as the on site infrastructures that ensure the best flowers reach consumers.
On a personal note, I recently attended the International Floriculture Expo (IFE), which required me to travel by car, bus and train to reach the show in Miami. What began as a journey that felt like a thousand miles, my all-day travel was quickly forgotten and replaced with captivating industry reports from insightful speakers, highlights of products that are on trend and a floral design competition. In addition, it was also wonderful to meet many Super Floral readers as I toured the trade show floor.
When considering the importance of a journey, writer T.S. Eliot said, “The journey, not the arrival, matters.” To which I agree and add, “If not for the carefully orchestrated journeys by air and sea, successful flower arrivals would cease to be.”
Brenda Silva, Editor