Farm: Carzan Flowers Limited
“Flowers deliver happiness to our end consumers but the presence of flowers on the farm also triggers happy emotions, heightened feeling of life satisfaction and affects the behavior of our employees in a positive manner ” says Christine Joy Karambu, Carzan Flowers Operations Manager.
When Justus Metho received a call one afternoon, while working in Arusha, informing him that Zaine Manji wanted him to come back to Kenya to work for him again, he was delighted. After living outside the country, Justus wanted to come back home, and that call gave him the opportunity that he needed. “Having worked before for Carzan, returning to the farm was like a homecoming,” he says.
Carzan is a combination of Carol and Zaine, the couple behind this unique flower business. Zain Manji, the managing director, had had a love for biology since his school days. He talks about this with incredible passion and his enthusiasm has spread to his family and the farm. He says the love of his life, Carol, is behind the success of Carzan. The farm specializes in summer flowers grown in choice places with microclimates for best harvest.
For a man who fell in love with agriculture, and flower farming in particular, at the age of 21, Zaine beams with flourishing enthusiasm when he talks about the business. When growing up, he wanted to be a pharmacist, but later changed his mind when it dawned on him how boring it would be to every day interact with capsules, tablets and syrups.
Kipipiri with its high altitude allows for slower growth resulting in very high quality standard carnations with big flower heads. Rongai, in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley produce intense colors of Hypericum, Solidago and Statice. “The wide spread of flowers mixed in all colors add that to the friendly and happy faces of the workers as they cut the flowers in the fields, the Carzan farms are a place you would want to spend all your day.”
Specialization in summer flowers has given the farm an advantage at the auctions in Europe, where all the flowers are sent because of the growing need for fillers. Zaine says, “the farm has built a reputation for this specialty because of the quality of its flowers, reliability in delivering, and diversity of products. I was elated during one of the trade fairs in Europe when I walked into a flower shop and realized quite a good number of flowers on their display were from Carzan and they were still in our sleeves!” Zaine says joyously.
The Rongai farm has a unique setup, being in a rural area where it has had a tremendous impact on the community from which a majority of its workforce is tapped. The transformation of the lives of both the 1,400 workers and the community is easily visible, exemplified by the fast commercial growth of Salgaa town on the main Nakuru-Eldoret highway.
The farm supports the surrounding communities by building classrooms, supplying piped water, and environmental cleaning programs.
Recently To mark the World AIDS Day 2013, Carzan Flowers (K) Ltd, together with other companies in Rongai-Nakuru sponsored and organized this day’s events which included relay races, tug of war and other games. By sponsoring this day, Carzan has successfully raised HIV AIDS awareness in its staff and in the neighboring community and also raised its staffs team spirit and moral in the process. We are proud of our employees who won the race and endeavor to support similar events in the future, says Zaine Manji.
In addition, Carzan fully supports our working new mothers by allowing them to nurse for one hour during their workday up until the child is 10 months old.
Our workers are happy and committed to ensuring our flowers are of the best quality as we believe that if it is not good for us, it is not good for others,” Christine explains.
She further adds that the farm is compliant with regards to audits from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and other certifying institutions.
For further information please visit Carzan’s website www.carzankenya.com