The people making the bunches select stems from the rack, again with a particular marketplace in mind. Russia and Europe are packed in bunches of twenty, and for the USA and Canada in bunches of twenty-five. Note the mirror in the picture, placed so that the individual can closely monitor the uniformity of the bunch.
The completed bunch will have a label affixed to the wrapper that indicates name of variety, stem length and number of stems in the bunch. This data is also encrypted in barcode form on the same label. Then the rose is placed on the conveyor belt and travels to the post-harvest inventory.
At the end of the conveyor belt, the roses are collected, the labels scanned by a bar-code gun and then the freshly made bunches are placed into buckets of water, arranged in the warehouse by geographical destination. Technologies such as bar-codes greatly assist the grower as the available inventory is being updated immediately upon completion of each bunch. In the fast paced world of fresh flowers, this is extremely valuable, as sales can start promptly thereafter.
The buckets of roses are then placed in coolers where they will hydrate for 24 hours, before being packed into boxes ready for their journey to a destination thousands of miles away. The roses must hydrate for a minimum of 8 hours, and the general practice in Ecuador is to leave them overnight. Without proper hydration in a professional solution, the roses will not be stable enough to survive the trip. Any advertisement that claims to deliver roses from Ecuador one day after cutting is guilty of making false representations. All roses from Ecuador destined for Mayesh Wholesale are flown exclusively on UPS Air Cargo. Although they are somewhat more expensive than other carriers, they are the only airline out of Colombia and Ecuador that offer a scheduled service that is adhered to. UPS is consistently reliable, and thus a program of just in time shipments can be coordinated. As you can imagine for fresh flowers, and roses in particular, this rapid transfer of cargo from cooler to cooler is essential.
In Miami the freight is received by our logistics company, where it is pre-cooled, sorted, and loaded onto temperature controlled trailers. These trailers are contracted through various refrigerated trucking specialists, to expedite their movement from Miami to Los Angeles. The journey is 48 hours, and the trucks run virtually non-stop, driven by two-man teams. The temperature is maintained at a constant 34 degrees, and during the trip the roses are exposed to an ethylene inhibitor call “Ethyl-Bloc”. This product slows down the transpiration rate of the flowers, and significantly lowers the ability of the roses to generate ethylene.