Daikin trials controlled-atmosphere technology for Taiwanese flowers

Taiwan Floriculture Exports Association and Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute have collaborated with Daikin Reefer on a static trial of Daikin Active CA technology to export Oncidium cut flowers from Taiwan. 

Daikin Reefer, supplier of refrigeration and climate control solutions for freight containers, headquartered in Japan, and is a business unit of the refrigeration division of global refrigeration, air conditioning and climate control provider Daikin Industries.

The objective of the trial was to load the flowers into reefer containers fitted with Daikin Active CA technology for a much-longer- than-usual transit time. A good cargo outturn following a longer transit time as part of the static trial would potentially open up new and distant export markets for Taiwanese Oncidium exporters.

Oncidium, sometimes known as dancing lady orchids or butterfly orchids, are popular indoor and florist orchids, primarily due to the huge sprays of flowers that often carry dozens of individual blooms.  

Taiwan is one of the top exporters of Oncidium to Japan, with approximately 20 million pieces arriving each year via ocean or air shipment.  Whilst more economical than air shipment, ocean shipment can be subject to unexpected delays caused by port congestion. At the same time, if overall air freight volumes are high, finding capacity to export flowers via this method can be problematic.

Since the global pandemic began in 2020, annual export volumes of Oncidium from Taiwan are down on previous years and the cargo outturn quality has declined – both due to complications in global logistics caused by the pandemic.

The static trial was successful, Daikin Active CA technology reduced water loss in transit, extended the flowers’ shelf life, increased their vase life and reduced potential disease. The humidity injection provided by the technology, as well as the conversion capability that the unique optimal mode delivers, both ensured the high-quality cargo outturn. Daikin Active CA optimal mode manages both O2 and C02 inside the container and is a key feature for precise atmosphere management.

In the near future, once commercial shipping is no longer subject to so many unexpected long delays, Oncidium exporters will now have the opportunity to ship these popular flowers to new distant markets, such as Australia, using Daikin Active CA technology.

Oncidium, also known as dancing lady orchids or butterfly orchids.

“Daikin Active CA supports exporters of both flora and food perishables”, commented Ah Huat Goh, general manager, global marketing and service, Reefer Department at Daikin Reefer. “This successful static trial provides potential for flowers to be shipped via ocean rather than expensive air freight over longer transit times whilst maintaining quality and vase life and finding new markets.” 

Photos credit: Daikin Reefer

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