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Thirty million roses on board
Lufthansa Cargo freighters full of roses for Valentine’s Day
Lufthansa Cargo flights currently heading for Frankfurt from South America and Africa have especially one product principally on board: tonnes of red roses destined for punctual delivery to high-street florists across Europe for Valentine’s Day. All in all, the cargo carrier is shipping around 1,100 tonnes of the floral tokens to Frankfurt for the great day. That amounts in total to more than 30 million Valentine roses or about 13 full MD-11 freighters.
Growers in Kenya, Ecuador and Colombia are among the world’s major producers of fresh-cut flowers. Lufthansa Cargo serves those countries with several freighter services weekly from its hub in Frankfurt. Transporting fresh flowers requires sophisticated and fast transport solutions to ensure the roses look fresh and dewy on Valentine’s Day and for days afterwards. The flowers are picked in the morning by rose producers in the Kenyan uplands and transported immediately afterwards to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. They continue the journey overnight to Frankfurt on board a Lufthansa Cargo freighter for the briefest of stopovers. Within hours of touch-down mostly, the roses are shipped out by road or flown on to other destinations across Europe.
Overseas rose growers profit from a tropical climate in which flowers thrive all year round. Their production even when imported by air is more environment-friendly than roses cultivated by necessity in Europe with artificial irrigation and heated greenhouses, which generate more carbon emissions, according to a study, among others, from Britain’s Cranfield University in 2007.