Floral Best Practices: Sher Farms in the Spotlight

sherfarmsFloralife’s Spotlight Program is a series of articles about where cut flowers come from, the people who make it happen, and their floral best practices. One of the operations we visited is Ethiopian grower Afriflora – Sher Farms. They shared with us the beauty of their flowers, as well as the sustainability, employee enrichment and community involvement efforts that have landed them in the Spotlight!

Opening in 2006, Sher Farms is a family operated 300-hectare rose farm. It is located 160 km south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, at the edge of Lake Ziway.

Sher Farms was founded by Founded by Gerrit and Peter Barnhoorn, who had previously launched a successful farm in neighboring Kenya. The Barnhoorns brought a number of socially responsible floral best practices to this new venture, which you can find in our recent Spotlight article on Sher Farms. Here is a preview:

Floral Best Practices: Community Involvement

Sher Farms employs approximately 10,000 people in the Lake Ziway area. Some of the amenities that the farm has brought to the neighboring communities include a new library, a sports stadium, a hospital and a new school where over 4,000 children learn reading, math and computer skills. The company also sponsors local HIV prevention efforts.

Floral Best Practices: Employee Enrichment

In addition to these extracurricular amenities, Sher Farms employees enjoy favorable conditions on the job, as well. An amicable collective bargaining agreement secured many benefits for employees including medical care, disability, overtime, pensions, and pregnancy leave.

Floral Best Practices: Sustainability

Sher Farms employs robust water management efforts including employ a water-saving spray and irrigation system. They also collect and store rainwater for farm use. They also collect and waste and rinsing water used during the operation of farm machinery. Waste management is also important at Sher Farms. Organic waste is collected, gathered and then processed into compost for further use.

Floral Best Practices: Certifications

Sher Ethiopia cultivates, produces and sells sustainably grown roses according to Fairtrade principles. This allows Afriflora to contribute actively to a better quality of life. Afriflora roses meet the criteria of Fair Flowers Fair Plant (FFP) and internationally recognized standards such as MPS-A, MPS-SQ, ETI and GAP.

Floralife is happy to shine the Spotlight on the floral best practices of Afriflora – Sher Farms. And this is just some of the story. Check out the rest on the Floralife Spotlight page, and visit them at www.afriflora.nl!