Best Practices: Spotlight on Panda Flowers
Floralife’s Spotlight Program takes a look at where cut flowers come from and the people that make it happen, and also highlights floral best practices. Recently we paid a visit to Kenyan rose grower Panda Flowers Ltd, who shared with us the beauty of their roses, as well as the production, sustainability and community involvement measures that have landed them in the Spotlight!
Panda Flowers Ltd is a Fair Trade-certified, 50-hectare rose farm located near Naivasha, Kenya. Panda employs 900 permanent workers, with an estimated 4,000 people indirectly benefiting from its operations and additional businesses that supply the products and services required in the production chain. Panda packs roses at source and sells to direct markets in Europe and the United States.
Panda earned a Kenya National Farmers Award in 2013, based on the strength of its comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility program. Some of the best practices associated with this program include:
Employee Benefits: Panda offers many amenities for its employees and their families, including vocational training, educational assistance for employees’ children, and a disabled workers program. Additionally, Panda enforces industry-standard safety rules. In particular, the company provides workers who handle chemicals with protective gear, time-limits their spraying activities and performs routine chemical exposure tests.
Community Involvement: Panda actively supports an orphanage in Naivasha, rehabilitating street children and giving them a home, education and training. The company also spearheaded the construction of a Women’s Health Care Center, reputed to be one of the best equipped maternity centers in Kenya.
Sustainability: As part of their sustainable best practices, Panda employs Integrated Pest Management in control of diseases and pests. They spray strictly where needed upon spot checking. This protects the environment, workers and consumers from harmful chemical side effects. Panda places insect traps in all of the greenhouses, and employs predator insects to eat the harmful pests. Elsewhere, the company is undertaking a major water-saving effort.