SMP-18010 Development of knew value chain for exotic tropical flowers from Costa Rica

Currently there is a lack of knowledge on optimal pre- and postharvest handling procedures and technologies. Exports are mainly to USA (relatively short trip) but still the exporting companies are faced with claims due to quality defects (e.g. stem bending. stem browning, mechanical and chilling damages). To solve the problems, we propose to perform: 1. A thorough literature study on the particular properties of different species of tropical flowers, 2. Perform in Costa Rica an inventory of current procedures, to pin-point the (quality) bottlenecks in the chain and to recommend novel ways of working and possible inclusion of new technologies, 3. We will organise a training course for local stakeholders (farmers, exporters) to level their knowledge base and, 4. We will facilitate the interaction of Costa Rican producers and Dutch importers to establish new business propositions. Wageningen FBR has ample expertise in analysing flower distribution chains and in development of protocols for new flower distribution systems. Together we anticipate that the project activities will lead to improved position of Costa Rican producers on the tropical flower market. In addition results will be of great value for other countries producing tropical flowers and greens (e.g Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico).  

The aim of the project is to analyse a business case for the optimal transportation and quality protocols for imports of tropical cut flowers into Europe. This includes an inventory of current tropical cut flower production in Costa Rica as well as an inventory of bottlenecks in the production-distribution chain and investigating current and future potential for export to NL. In addition, the potential for sea shipments of tropical flowers will be considered.