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Temkin International and Chrysal USA have teamed up to produce a floral sleeve with a slow-release preservative patch for fresh-cut flowers.

"I think this will be a real game-changer," Noam Temkin, vice president of sales and marketing at Temkin, said in an April 21 phone interview. "It's innovative, and the industry needs something new right now. We're trying it out on a small scale with growers, bouquet-makers and supermarkets, and getting a good response. We want to slowly trickle into selling this product."

Temkin, the floral packaging manufacturer located in Payson, UT, will debut "FloraPatch Sleeves" June 23 at the International Floriculture Expo in Miami Beach.

Temkin is the exclusive North American and South American distributor for the patch, and sells it only attached to its floral sleeves. The product is manufactured by Chrysal's subsidiary in Sweden, which has been selling the patch in Europe for several years.

To apply the preservative, consumers simply remove the adhesive patch from the sleeve and attach it directly to the stems, adding one tablespoon of sugar to the water in the vase. The "FloraPatch" slow-release formula prolongs vase life, while keeping vase water cleaner, according to Mr. Temkin. Each "FloraPatch" provides enough preservative strength for a one-liter vase and works with all flower types. The patch measures two inches by one-and-a- quarter inches.

The product makes life easier for consumers, who no longer have to cut open plastic sachets of flower food and mix their contents into a measured container of water, Mr. Temkin said. Since the preservative packet comes attached to the sleeve, a sachet doesn't have to be attached to each bouquet. "The labor of attaching sachets for flower food is eliminated, and production speed and capacity are increased," Mr. Temkin added. "Growers and producers will find it easier to place just one order for the sleeve with the patch, and their customers will like the green aspects of the product."

"FloraPatch" sleeves reduce the number of packaging and preservative shipments, which release carbon into the atmosphere and like all Temkin sleeves are made from recyclable, oxo-biodegradable or compostable materials. Printed sleeves use certified biorenewable, water-based inks.

In a news release, Temkin International predicted that the new product would revolutionize the fresh-cut flower industry in North America. In 110 trials comparing "FloraPatch" to plain water, roses lasted almost three days longer, mixed bouquets more than a day longer, according to the release.

Temkin, three decades old, is the nation's largest floral packaging manufacturer. It has four locations in North America and South America. Chrysal USA, based in Miami, offers a range of products for post-harvest floral care. Its world headquarters are in the Netherlands, where the company started in 1929. In 2007, Chrysal merged with Vitabric, a prominent Swedish producer of flower food known for its innovative slow-release flower patch.