Zuurbier & Co and Bilashaka Flowers

Zuurbier & Co has facilities in the Netherlands and in Kenya. In Kenya, the company is called Bilashaka Flowers Ltd. The production farm in Kenya has an area of ​​29 hectares. On this farm, cultivation techniques developed in the Netherlands are applied in an ideal African climate. This provides excellent roses for various European markets. Since 1967, Zuurbier & Co has been investing in innovative techniques such as energy saving, solar energy, automation, and alternative growing techniques. It is a solid company, where reliability, innovation and sustainability are important values. Zuurbier & Co aims to create a company producing excellent products, and to contribute to a healthy working environment with respect for people and environment.

Zuurbier & Co

At the company in Kudelstaart, a small professional team is taking care of the products. After a thorough quality check, flowers are being unpacked and distributed to direct customers or prepared for auctioning at FloraHolland.

Bilashaka Flowers LtD

In 2001, Zuurbier & Co started a rose farm in Kenya. Under the name Bilashaka Flowers (Bilashaka means without doubt in Kiswahili) 29 hectares of greenhouses produce about 40 million roses annually.

Bilashaka Flowers is an innovative company applying modern (Dutch) cultivation techniques. The roses are for the mayor part grown on substrate, where drainwater is 100% recycled. This contributes to the lowest possible water and fertilizers consumption. Since 2006, Bilashaka Flowers is heating the greenhouses by using solar panels. In this way, the plants are protected against conditions with high humidity in the night. The infection of fungal diseases has gone down tremendously and the use of chemical fungicides is significantly lower .

The company employs over 500 people. The employees are daily concerned with harvesting, processing and preparing the roses for transport to the Netherlands. Bilashaka Flowers is Fairtrade certified and has the following additional certificates: MPS-A, ETI, KFC-silver en Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP).

In Kenya, the following varieties are grown: Rosalie®, Taiga®, Blushing Akito®, Tucan®, Samoa®, Prestige®, Ninetta®, Revival®, Solsy®, Almanza® and Ashanti®.

Cultivation

Since years, the company has always invested in innovative techniques that improve the cultivation and company processes.

For production farms, integrated pest management is the standard today, but organic farming is the future. Zuurbier & Co invests in the further refinement of cultivation without chemicals. The goal is to achieve a reduction of 90% on the use of chemicals. Every day, all the crops are carefully scouted for pests and diseases, and the population of biological control agents are determined and adjusted.

In Kenya, the greenhouses are heated during the early morning to reduce the infection of fungal diseases. This is done by using solar energy. The area of ​​solar panels for heating is extended to an area of ​​4000 m2. The extension of the solar panels is an in-house designed construction, simple and effective for Kenyan conditions and has been developed with local materials and labor. In this way, the Zuurbier group contributes to a reduction of the use of fossil fuels. Ultimately it is the aim to use solar energy both for the heat and the electricity needs on the farm.

Social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is important for Zuurbier & Co. Around Kaserani, there was a need for a Secondary School. Therefore Bilashaka Flowers together with the government and other stakeholders started building a school in 2010. In the first year there were 80 pupils attending classes. Nowadays the St. Andrews Tarabete School provides education for around 200 students. In 2012 the first group of students will graduate. The school has a positive effect on the chances for young Kenyans, especially the girls.

Bilashaka Flowers also supports the local medical clinic called North Lake Harambee Dispensary. By supporting the clinic, the clinic can offer the much needed healthcare to the local community at a low cost. The main focus of the clinic is prevention of diseases related to hygiene problems. By educating and informing the local community about hygiene precautions the clinic helps keep the local community healthy. A lot of attention goes towards family planning and the treatment of STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). AIDS awareness campaigns are conducted regularly. The farm in Naivasha is situated in a beautiful and valuable nature area. It is of great importance to responsibly use the natural resources like water and land. Due to erratic rains during the last years, water has become scarce.

Bilashaka flowers uses a minimum of water from the lake. As one of the very few farms, the farm is catching rainwater from the greenhouse in big basins. This "water harvesting" decreases the demand for water from the lake with significant quantities. With hydroponic cultivation and 100% recirculation of drain water, the farm minimizes the interaction with the groundwater and all water is used efficiently.

Moreover, there is a drinking water supply built for the neighboring village where many employees live. Since the construction, the health of local people has improved significantly.

Employees

Below you can see some of our employees.


De mensen bij Zuurbier & Co

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