B. Gollnow, J. Faragher, D. Joyce
Many authors have noted that consumer confidence in buying fresh flowers is strongly related to their perceived value in that quality and vase life must be high and consistent over time for consumers to repeat buy. Growers, wholesalers, exporters and retailers seek practical information about recommended handling and treatments at the harvest and postharvest stages, including that relating to flowers native to Australia and South Africa (“wildflowers”). This information is essential for products to be of high quality with an acceptable vase life for the end consumer, especially if exported. Published postharvest manuals generally focus on traditional flower crops and so rarely include many, or any, wildflowers. A manual entitled Postharvest Handling of Australian flowers from Native Plants and Related Species was published in 2002 and addressed this gap, but required updating. This situation presented an opportunity to provide in-depth information to compliment the Australian wildflower quality specifications (see accompanying paper in the same volume), and to assemble the latest knowledge on wildflower quality and postharvest issues. The resultant manual contains extensive information about harvesting, quality issues and recommended postharvest care focussed on wildflowers. Much of the information is documented for the first time, being based on the most up to date research and development (R&D) as well as practical experience of the floral supply chain, researchers and other technical experts. The manual provides practical and detailed information on postharvest treatment of fresh wildflowers for growers, florists, wholesalers and exporters to use on a daily basis. It discusses the many unique features of wildflowers that must be understood and managed in order to maximise their quality and vase life after marketing and export. The manual also includes postharvest advice for 16 flower- and foliage lines for which quality specifications were not produced. This advice is presented according to the same template as the specifications.
Gollnow, B., Faragher, J. and Joyce, D. (2014). POSTHARVEST MANUAL ANSWERS MANY QUESTIONS. Acta Hortic. 1031, 119-124
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1031.13
vase life, quality, Australian and South African flowers, ethylene, on-farm treatments, wildflowers, floral supply chain