New Products to Look for in 2021
Bio-technology is changing the products available to florists for the better. Now more than ever there is a desire to reduce the carbon footprint created by our industry and companies are inventing and re-engineering products to fit this need. Here are a few companies to watch for this year:
Verdant Technologies is partnering up with Chrysal to distribute their latest invention called HarvestHold, a 1-MCP based technology applied to a sheet of film. HarvestHold comes on a roll and the sheets are placed with the product to block ethylene in fruits, vegetables and flowers. It minimalizes perishability and extends the life of the product. This means fresher product to the consumer, reduced shrinkage and less waste to the environment. The product will be initially tested with Colombian flower farms and distributed in the U.S. later this year.
For Peat's Sake
Peat is widely used in our industry to nourish plants, but the process of excavating peat, has destroyed natural bogs, moorlands and peatlands across the U.K. and releases large amounts of CO2 into the air. The natural water management and diverse wildlife in these regions is being disrupted. Recently the U.K. passed laws restricting the use of peat and companies are scrambling to find alternatives.
Called to action, George Davies, a 20 year old college student studying Environmental Geology in the U.K., found his life curtailed by the pandemic. Instead of sitting back and relaxing, he became an activist and developed a product called "For Peat's Sake", a 100% peat-free growing medium using a by-product of the Sri Lankan coconut industry. For Peat's Sake uses the coir from coconuts to develop a peat alternative, which helps plants grow by promoting the correct air to water ratio. The product is shipped dry, in a compostable package. It's only available in the U.K. for now, but hopefully more widely available within the year.
Green floral foam has long been a staple in our industry but not friend to our environment, as it it made from petrochemicals. Now there's a new alternative to foam, called FloraGuppy, a malleable, reusable, recyclable plastic sphere that uses two interlocking halves to form a ball with 58 holes. It can be molded by using warm water and can be used for fresh flower arrangements, silks, crafts and orchids. It was developed by James Wong of Vancouver and tested in the African flower market. It received recognition at the Chelsea Flower Show after the U.K.'s Royal Horticultural Society banned the use of floral foam for its shows. You can now find the product on Amazon.
Holly Chapple Pillows and Eggs were introduced to the market a few years ago. Another foam-free solution, these removable, reusable and recyclable frogs are used to create wedding bouquets and container arrangements. Holly's one of a kind armatures, which combine her signature egg and pillow designs with a water vessel make arbor and chuppah designs easier to install. Her products are available through wholesale suppliers.
Agra Wool International
Agra Wool Floral Foam, made from Basalt and a type of sucrose (cane or beet sugar) are bio-degradable. Unlike floral foam, which is made from oil-based materials, Agra Wool blocks are made from natural materials, can be broken up and used as a potting soil alternative, and are fully compostable.
"Innovation happens when people are free to think, experiment and speculate."