Zuurbier & Co and Bilashaka Flowers
Zuurbier & Co has production facilities in the Netherlands and in Kenya. In Kenya, the company is called Bilashaka Flowers Ltd. The nursery in the Netherlands covers an area of 13 hectares, where we grow the absolute top of rose varieties. 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 Heerhugowaard (13 hectares) each year 35 million roses are grown. The most modern techniques such as cultivation on substrate, under a light level of 11,000 lux provide roses of the best quality. A highly energy-efficient power plant supplies the daily requirement of light and heat, with a minimum of waste products. Around 85 people are daily harvesting and processing the roses. The nursery is ISO-9002 certified and has the MPS-A label.
On our Dutch company the following varieties are grown: Prestige ®, Deep Water ®, Coffee Break ®, Pacific Blue ®, Red Desire ® and ® Cherry Brandy®.
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 has the following certificates: MPS-A, ETI, KFC-silver en Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP).
In Kenya, the following varieties are grown: Rosalie ®, Taiga ®, White ® Rosalie, Milva ®, Blushing Akito ®, Tucan ®, Rafiki ®, Samoa ®, Prestige ®, Ninetta ® and Revival ®.
Since years, the company has always invested in innovative techniques that improve the cultivation and company processes. Recently, a highly energy-efficient power plant supplies electricity for the nursery. The heat and the CO2 is utilized for the growth of the plants. Thus, the available energy is used in an optimal way, and waste products are avoided.
For production farms, integrated pest management is the standard today, but organic farming is the future. Zuurbier & Co in Heerhugowaard 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.
At the nursery in the Netherlands, the practical application of LED lighting is tested. The ambition by using this new technology is to help achieve 25% energy savings over the next five years. The test is done with red and blue LED lamps. The results look promising.
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.
Corporate social responsibility is important for Zuurbier & Co.
Around Kaserani, there was a need fo 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.
Below you can see some of our beloved employees.
De mensen bij Zuurbier & Co
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Zuurbier & Co aims for:
Reliability: by supplying products of high quality and vase life, in sufficient amounts. We provide service to supply a wide varity of products for our customers
Innovation: in the field of development of technology for cultivation processes
Sustainability: by using sustainable sources and producton methods
Corporate social responsibility: in the field of renewable energy and human resourch management