Flower growing requires one to be very clear minded to succeed. There are various dynamics that control the game. For instance; varieties to grow and where to grow, timing and whether and when to sell through auction or directly. To expound more on this, we approached Sachin Appachu the General Manager of Bliss Flora Limited which is located in Egerton, Njoro region; 30 kilometers west of Nakuru town.
In today’s scenario variety selection is the most important aspect for a successful farm, and also goes without saying all good managerial or farming skills to get the finished product as best as it could be . A grower can identify a good variety which by own gauging can do well in the market and then get exclusivity of the same with a breeder. Which would mean supply is under control also the quality and this would determine consistent price hopefully longer period. This prevents the market being engulfed with the variety hence assuring the grower good sales. It is a tricky affair since the market tide of the variety can change and hence one has to be very careful.
A company can sell directly and at the same time sell through auction. On being a member of the auction you are obligated to declare your non auction sales, which has certain charges that the company will have to pay the auction for being a member, Appachu revealed.
“As a grower, on marketing of flowers, the most tricky side is to keep a balance between auction sales and direct sales or just to go with either of them. I personally feel for the successes of the farm a good mix between both is very important; when you are strong on the auction market, you cannot be dictated on pricing by direct buyers ’’ averred Sachin.
‘’We have been able to maintain almost all of our customers since we began operations due to the consistency and quality supply. This I can attribute to the mutual respect we have with our clients; not short changing them,’’ Appachu expounded.
The business module has its ups and downs. Sometimes the market is not conducive and growers have to throw away their flowers due to price fluctuation, market oversupply and the season.
In regard to Britex, Mr. Appachu says it’s a long process and we have to wait and see what unfolds. “it might not affect us much directly , maybe in the terms of quantities will reduce due to the fluctuation of Sterling Pound against major currencies,’’ he said.
Bliss Flora Limited
Bliss Flora was started in 2010/2011 at an altitude of 2375m, initial project was 20 hectares currently standing at 35 hectares with a possibility to grow. It is a sister company to Buds and Blooms which began operations in 1994 in Nakuru.
‘’Having put up a farm here has given a lot of employment to many people who are residing here, and also of late we see people coming in search of jobs from far of towns and settling down in the villages around us. This has made the area quite peaceful as many neighbors mention to us and are very happy,’’ said Appachu.
The Company’s initial phase roses were sold through the auction where the prices were extremely good at the time, later they began direct sales with small quantities in 2013/14, as it was the need of the hour where the prices were worthy. ‘’,’’ he elaborated.
Currently the farm grows 21 varieties of premium roses to name a few, 3D, and Ocean song, Adalonia, Evered, Athena and Tacazzi among others. They harvest twice per day exporting around 100 stems of roses per square meter.
Work relations to him are something he holds very dear. The company has been able to employ 637 people to assist in their daily operations; most of them being the locals. For success of every farm, workers have to come first. He attributes the success of the farm to the human touch he has for his employees.
Read the full article in Hortfresh Journal July-August edition
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