Bringing Fabulous Foliage from Florida to the Floral Industry
Located in Central Florida, FernTrust is a marketing cooperative of foliage growers specializing in unique products and processes for the floral industry.
Each grower member is dedicated to providing quality products to FernTrust and each has their own unique foliages in production. More importantly, they are lifetime agriculturalists that will share their knowledge and land with the next generation…
Formed in 1986, FernTrust has been an innovative leader within the industry. This innovation starts with the patented FernCool process and insures that the consumer has the longest lasting foliage possible.
EachFernTrust foliage is harvested under the supervision of our Operations Manager. Working with the cutting staff, quality begins in the field. Our goal is to provide consistent quality in all products with each and every shipment, in spite of Mother Nature.
Cutting crews harvest the products according to specific stem counts and grading. They work under the direct supervision of a crew leader. FernTrust employs six cutting crews with a total of 65 cutters harvesting foliage for our company.
Once the foliage is harvested and placed on the fern basket, it leaves the fields headed to our Packing Facility. The basket is then removed from the fern trailer by a hoist system…
The basket is then lowered into a cold water bath. The “Jacuzzi-type” tub is filled with chilled water along with a leaf sealer that slows the transpiration rate of the foliage and begins the preparation process for shipping. Florida summer temperatures can be detrimental to the vase life of foliage but this step negates that.
After being removed from the vat and allowing excess water to be drained back into the tank, the baskets are then wheeled into a state of the art pre-cooler at FernTrust.
The product remains in the pre-cooler for 24 hours to insure that the foliage is completely chilled prior to packing or processing. This extra step is critical to Cold Chain Management.
Fromthe baskets, packing house employees process the product for individual orders by grade (or size) and quality and by the number of bunches placed in each box. This is determined by the customer’s request.
To insure that grading is consistent, our Packing House Manager checks each basket throughout the packing process as an added quality assurance step.
Another unique aspect of the FernCool Process is our one of a kind refrigerated packing facility. Working in this chilled environment, the packers are placing cold product in cold boxes. This step in the Cold Chain adds valuable days to the vase life of the foliage, especially during the hot Florida summers.
Once the boxes are packed, they are stored in our large shipping cooler where they are palletized by product, pack size and grade while they await shipping or use in one of our other production systems.
Once the products have been graded and packed, they can be further processed into our Fabulous Foliage Green Bouquet selections.
Our in house designers create these easy to use solutions using a variety of foliages. The bouquets are created to fit various price points and design needs of the retail florists.
These foliage bouquets can then be used as a stand alone arrangement or as a starter “kit” for the florist to add the flowers of their choice. Regardless, they are a long lasting solution that adds variety and cost accounting of goods while saving the florist labor and money from wasted materials.
Another service we provide our customers is custom packed mixed boxes. Our staff packs each box according to customer requirements. This allows less labor and handling on the part of the floral wholesaler and insures variety for their customers with that direct from the farm experience. Each week, FernTrust creates and ships more that 500 of these mixes.
Once the various orders are entered into the system, individual labels are placed on the boxes as our shipping crew prepares the products for transport on the various truck lines.
As the last step in the FernCool Process, refrigerated transport takes the boxes to the various shipping terminals in Pierson and Miami. With our large loading facility, we are able to provide direct pick-ups by some truck lines at our dock as well as consolidation of products from other growers.
We have branded our unique packing procedures as the FernCool process with “Coolie” as our logo. This additional marketing, helps pull our brand through and establish FernTrust as an industry leader.
We have invested considerable time and money into branding at FernTrust. Each program gives visibility and marketing strength to our company and our partners. These brands are used on our boxes, our sleeves and on marketing flyers and advertisements throughout the industry.
The Zen Collection is a bouquet selection with an Asian, new -age flair. This line has great appeal for an all green selection, especially for corporate design work.
The Bobbi’s Bouquets Line is a fresh foliage bouquet selection for our mass market accounts. It offers 3 price points and the recipes change with the season. This insures that the best foliages are always included in the designs and that the customer receives the most stems per bunch for the cost.
Our consumer bunches are branded with this Fresh Solutions logo. Individual foliages are sleeved and UPC coded for the mass market customer. With more than 100 foliages sold by FernTrust, there is sure to be something for everyone.
ColorFresh foliage is another FernTrust exclusive that offers alternative filler foliage items for the floral industry. More than 30 colors are available to add color and style to any arrangement in any season.
With our one of a kind processes, unique product lines and branding, along with our extraordinary staff and growers members, FernTrust is truly a “growing leader” within the floral industry. From our field, through our facility and ultimately to the consumer, Ferntrust is Fabulous Foliage!