Effective productivity management of mixed flower farms

Avital Bechar (Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Research Organization, Bet Dagan, Israel)
Gad Vitner (School of Engineering, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer, Israel)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Publication date: 24 June 2019



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the issue of low yields in the packinghouses of green ornamentals and cut flowers due to the high rate of crops waste. Waste may be caused by pests, diseases and extreme weather or environmental conditions that are not under the farmer’s control. Other causes may relate to work processes as follows: irrigation, spraying, harvesting, handling, transportation, sorting, bundling and packaging.


The farm under study is a private owned business managed by the owner’s family members with growing area of 22 ha and eight daily workers. The farm produces about 2.5m units (flower stems) per year. The farm represents a typical flower farm in Israel. A costing model and decision rules were developed to identify the critical waste rate that will consider being economic to ship to the market. The model takes into account the production process, the production yield, the operational costs and sales price and calculates the breakeven point. A simulation model was developed to verify the relationships between waste rate to the total process time per stem and flow time.


Results show that the critical waste rate for Ruscus, Antirrhinum, Aralia and Aspidistra crops is 16, 74, 22 and 39 percent, respectively. The total process time per harvested stem decreases as the waste rate increases.


A working model was developed to determine the waste threshold rate and support the farmer in day-to-day economic decisions regarding shipment to the market and effective management of his workers.



Bechar, A. and Vitner, G. (2019), "Effective productivity management of mixed flower farms", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-03-2018-0125

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