So let’s take a look at how a dozen roses winds its way from the rose farm all the way across the country to grace your mother’s table on Mother’s Day.
What happens on rose farms?
Most of the roses sold in Australia are actually home grown, which is really good to know. It gives us a warm glow inside when we know that we are supporting local industries. Roses can grow throughout Australia, so long as they are protected from the wind, receive at least 4 hours of sunlight a day and have a rich, moist soil with lots of nutrients.
Most rose bushes are at least 2 years old, producing lots of beautiful rose buds for the cut flower industry and are grown in greenhouses to protect them from insect infestation.
Since Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May every year, wholesalers need to predict the number of roses they will need next year. This helps the growers to ensure that they have enough mature bushes ready for harvesting to supply the predicted market.
Once the growers know how many roses are needed for next year’s Mother’s Day, they can calculate when and how often the rose bushes need to be pruned during the year to ensure that the roses bud on time for Mother’s Day.
The key to fresh roses is keeping them cold
When the roses are cut from the bushes on the farms they are immediately placed in special chilled boxes that keeps them at a constant temperature. This temperature is maintained throughout their journey to the wholesaler or retail florist store, as this is the only way that the freshness of the roses can be maintained.
Chilling the roses basically keeps them in suspended animation, giving them a much longer shelf life than if they were kept at room temperature. Some roses are flown across Australia and others are imported, but regardless of whether they are transported by air or road, the roses need to be kept chilled in their boxes at all times.
Arriving at the wholesalers or retail florists
Even when the flowers arrive at their destination, they need to be kept chilled in refrigerated storerooms or else they will begin to deteriorate. As you can see, the refrigerated supply chain for fresh roses is vital to ensuring that your mother’s bouquet looks absolutely fabulous on Mother’s Day - you can send flowers to anyone in Melbourne or anywhere across the country and they will still be as fresh as the day they were cut on the farm.