Flower Logistics and The Daffodil Campaign

Every April, the Canadian Cancer Society holds their annual daffodil campaign to honour Canadians who have been affected by cancer and to raise money in support of research, education, advocacy, and care initiatives. Millions of daffodils are distributed for sale through grocery stores and other retail outlets. But have you ever wondered where all the flowers come from and how they get here?

Behind the daffodil campaign are months of flower logistics and freight planning to ensure fresh flowers arrive in cities and towns across Canada in time for Daffodil Month. We give you a look inside the logistics behind the campaign below.

Logistics Planning

It may be a surprise to learn that the journey of many of these daffodils begins in the United Kingdom. The world’s largest producer of daffodils, the Canadian Cancer Society has established a long-standing relationship with a UK grower.

As the flowers are planted and begin to grow, logistics planning for transportation and distribution is well underway. Highly perishable, the daffodils are shipped from the UK and distributed throughout Canada. All within a time frame of approximately 24-48 hours.

Travelling thousands of miles, the transportation of perishable goods, such as fresh-cut flowers, requires a “cold chain”. A continuous, temperature-controlled supply chain, the cold chain preserves the flowers until they reach their final destination. The daffodils require multiple cold chain transport modes and storage facilities.

Harvesting & Shipping

daffodils in boxes at logistics warehouse awaiting distribution to retail outletsThe journey begins with the harvesting of the daffodils by the grower in the UK. After the flowers are cut, they are pre-chilled (to prevent bloom) and packed before being shipped by refrigerated truck to Heathrow Airport. They are then loaded onto direct flights to major Canadian hubs (e.g. Montreal, Halifax, etc.).

Temperature control is critical when moving perishables. As such, data loggers monitor and control temperatures to keep the flowers between 1-3 degrees Celsius while in transit.

Upon arrival to Canada, the flowers are cleared through Canadian customs and offloaded into refrigerated trucks destined to dedicated storage facilities within each Province. From these facilities, the daffodils are distributed to volunteers, corporate clients, and retail locations for public purchase.

Distributing Daffodils Across Canada

In 2018, PF Collins collaborated with the Canadian Cancer Society and our network of agents and carriers to successfully import and distribute 3.1 million daffodils to seven provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador).

Visit the Canadian Cancer Society online to learn more about the Daffodil Campaign and other ways to join in the fight against cancer.