Celebrating National Flower Day

National Flower Day is March 21. If you’ve ever been to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart or other retailers and seen displays of beautiful flower bouquets, those flowers have very likely been transported using flake ice to keep them fresh and vibrant. At Howe, we work closely with businesses in the floral industry to ensure that their blooms arrive at retailers and wholesalers looking fresh.

Why the Floral Industry Relies on Flake Ice

Flake ice is formed in dry, flat flakes that flow freely, providing greater contact area with the items they cool from produce to seafood to flowers. It is the ideal type of ice for so many cooling applications, including flowers. Our flake ice is ideal for transporting fresh cut flowers because it keeps the flowers fresh over the journey, arriving at the retailer or wholesaler as fresh as when they were picked.

Years ago, flowers and plants were harvested near to consumers but today flowers and plants are shipped around the world at all times of year. As a result, the floral industry relies heavily on ice and refrigeration products to keep the fresh cut flowers at their peak freshness. The way that flowers are shipped is important. If the temperature is too high, there will be flower and bloom shrinkage, which means decreased profits. With flake ice, the floral industry is able to maintain the optimum temperature for shipping their flowers.

Let’s take a look at the specifics:

  • Cut flowers and potted plants need to be cooled rapidly to between 33 and 35 F and maintained at temperatures no higher than 41 F.
  • Day-ahead flower and plant ordering is recommended to ensure that adequate time is available to cool the products properly before transporting.
  • Transportation companies need to pre-cool boxed flowers and plants at between 32 and 41 F.
  • Any products over 41 F should be returned to the shipper or cooled to the proper temperatures quickly.

The Elite Flower

The Elite Flower was founded in 1991 when floral industry pioneer Peter Hannaford planted a couple of rose hectares in Colombia with the help of his wife and a few close relatives. The family legacy continued with his son, Juan Carlos. Under his visionary leadership, Juan Carlos has grown The Elite Flower into one of the largest floral organizations in the world.

Howe Corp is proud to provide flake ice to The Elite Flower. They are a very large company with 18 facilities in the U.S.; supplying flowers to major retailers across the country. They use Howe flake ice to quickly cool the water that is used in the vases or containers used to ship their flowers up to 100-mile distances to retail stores.

Automation and Maintenance Director Esteban Tobar has been using Howe ice at the facility he manages in New Jersey for the last year and the headquarters facility in Miami has been using it for over eight years. He said, “We have to maintain the cold chain for flower transportation. The flowers are sent from overseas refrigerated and we have to keep the flowers cooled to a certain temperature until they get to the stores to ensure they stay fresh. We produce about 800 lbs. of ice per day and the Howe flake ice machine is perfect for our application because it keeps up with production and the ice dissolves very rapidly into the water we use in our vases, which cools the water faster.”

About Howe Corp

At Howe Corp, we manufacture high quality ice flakers in Chicago, Illinois. We work with companies around the globe in a variety of industries to provide flake ice for both retail and industrial applications.

In addition, we are proud to provide many great employment opportunities, including internships and remote work programs. Contact us today to learn more.