Cold chain logistics completed, Taipei flower market says
By Yang Hsin-hui and Jake Chung/staff reporter, with a staff writer
A trial of a flower cold chain covering Taiwan has been completed and is ready for use, but additional costs will affect prices, the Taipei Flower Market said Thursday.
The heat, to which flowers are often exposed during transport, causes yellowing and wilting, prompting market pressure for a cold chain.
Taipei Flower Sales Ltd, which operates the market, said it purchased trucks with monitoring and temperature control capabilities that facilitated the transport of flowers through the cold chain from growers to market.
Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times
Chang Yu-wei (張育瑋), director of the retail division of Taipei’s market business department, said the upgrade was done in stages, starting with market storage before s tackle transport.
Without cold chain supply, the flowers would only last two to three days after they reach the market, but with the system they can last up to a week, Chang said.
Taipei Flower Sales said it has worked with the Nantou County Government, Taichung City Government and the Agriculture and Food Agency to establish the nationwide logistics network.
Without such a system, Taiwan’s flower industry – which has 14,520 hectares of production and is valued at NT$17.6 billion (US$635.61 million) – cannot compete internationally, said said Agriculture and Food Agency Director Hu Chung-yi (胡忠一).
The cold supply chain is complex, as flowers must be prepared after being picked – with different packaging required depending on the flower – and then transported to Taipei, where almost half of the country’s flower transactions take place, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said.
Taipei Flower Sales general manager Chang Tang-mu (張堂穆) said the system, while producing fresher flowers, will also lead to higher prices.
However, the company would try to impose a 10% cap on price fluctuations, he said.
There are two routes, one with two trucks from Houli (后里) and Sinshe (新社) districts in Taichung, and one with five trucks from Puli Township (埔里) of Nantou County, both systems ending in Taipei, he said, adding that the company is in talks to buy more trucks to increase the transport rate.
Chang Yu-wei said deliveries through the cold chain will reach 35% of the overall supply, while the company and its collaborators continue to develop the system.
Cold chain supply would boost flower sales, he said.
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