Valentine's Day is nearing and for many rose growers this means working around the clock. Also for Indian rose grower Soex Flora. For them, Valentine's Day is one of their most hectic days of the year. For two weeks, the site is operational 24/7 in order to ship out all the orders. Millions of roses are being harvested and processed during this time.
The roses are grown in several greenhouses, each an acre in size close to Takwe in Pune. Usually, one sees a sea of colors, but when Valentine's Day is around, the color red is dominant. Many months beforehand, the production manager plans and schedules pruning in order to get millions of red roses for Valentine's Day.
So, what does such a busy day before this big holiday look like? Soex Flora gives a glimpse of a day at the farm during the Valentine's Day season.
"It's a crisp February morning and hundreds of workers are busy picking up flowers carefully for the Valentine shipment. These flowers could go to England, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, U.A.E, U.S.A. or any other part of the world."
At Soex Flora, the weeks in advance of Valentine's Day are hectic. "Work is much harder compared to other hectic days throughout the year. A normal day activity includes: harvesting flowers in the greenhouse, sending them to the grading hall where roses go through hardening, de-leafing, grading and are being carefully inspected for pests and diseases. Then, they are bunched, kept in cold storage, packed, pre-cooled and loaded into reefer trucks and sent to the airport, where they are shipped to their destination. 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. look exactly the same inside the grading hall as the cycle of work keeps repeating for multiple shipments for the different buyers. The site is operational 24 hrs for two weeks, with lunch breaks and a couple of tea breaks and dinner."