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Cut Flower Commission Aims to Improve Transportation System

A $95,000 state grant will help flower growers develop more efficient ways to move their products.

The California Cut Flower Commission has been awarded $95,000 to assist in the creation of a new transportation model on behalf of the state’s cut flower growers. The funding was provided by the state Department of Food and Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

“Our transportation committee’s goal is to examine the current transportation practices of our growers and to develop an efficient and innovative system to more effectively distribute their product and better compete in the domestic market,” said Kasey Cronquist, the commission’s executive director.

By developing a new transportation model, the California cut flower industry will improve product quality control and decrease overall truck traffic, reducing its carbon footprint as well as providing more competitive shipping rates based on statewide volume of flowers and foliages. Cronquist said the grant funding will be used to hire an independent transportation consultant, to create and implement a plan for the new transportation model, and to sustain the effort over the long term.

“Our organization and the 275 growers we represent are deeply appreciative of CDFA’s selection of this transportation-focused grant request,” said Wilja Happé of Farmer’s West in Carpinteria, the commission’s chairwoman. “Many of our growers believe the future of California’s cut flower industry lies in finding an effective transportation solution to bring California flowers to markets throughout the United States; this funding will allow a solution to be realized.”

The newly funded transportation project will begin immediately and extend into 2009.

Julie Ficker represents the California Cut Flower Commission.

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