Ecuador: Innovative rose grower puts people and planet first

Providing every field worker with plants to nurse and letting them share the profits of what they produce. It's a project that Ecuadorian rose farm Agrinag introduced several years ago, and its success became an important driver to triple the business' size in just eight years. Currently, this farm grows roses on 43 ha and employs 500 people. They are committed to the environment and nature and also set up another special initiative in 2008: an animal rescue center.

Juan Pablo Torres at the Hortex Vietnam 2019

True passion
But how did it all start? With no experience of working with roses but sharing a true passion for this flower, father and son Hernan and Juan Pablo Torres founded a rose farm at 2,800 meters above sea level in Cotopaxi, Ecuador in 2003. They recruited a committed workforce of 200 locals and began to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of farming. Over the years they expanded the range of roses and they are known for introducing new and unique varieties to the market. Their main export countries are the US, Russia and the Netherlands. 

Program "Mis Plantas" 
Knowing that it was the skilled and dedicated team of workers that helped to make the business a success, Agrinag introduced innovative incentives and benefits to put their people first, empowering each worker to become their very own micro-entrepreneur. "This innovative program, called "Mis Plantas", provides every field worker with plants to nurse so they can share the profits of what they produce. As much as 4% of the additional sales will go directly to them every time they reach their harvesting goal", explains Juan Martin Paredes, Business Development Manager at Agrinag.

According to him, this project is one of the main drivers of the success of the company, which enabled them to increase significantly in size. 

Juan Martin Paredes at Hortiflorexpo China 2019

Initiative “Deer of Cotopaxi Rescue Center”
The other special initiative started in 2008, when a badly injured fawn entered their farm. "Our team immediately called the environmental authorities, only to find out there were no animal rescue centers in the region. They explained to us how to save the deer, and the day after, when these authorities visited Agrinag, moved by our effort to save the life of the deer, they encouraged Agrinag to open the first rescue center for wildlife of Cotopaxi. Honored by the chance to help local wildlife, Agrinag founded the 'Deer of Cotopaxi Rescue Center'." 

Since then, hundreds of animals from many species including hawks, monkeys, and tropical birds have lived at Deer of Cotopaxi. "Fortunately, 18 of those creatures were re-introduced in their natural habitat."

Juan Pablo and Uti Torres are the owners... well as Piki and Paula Torres.

Re-imagine branding 
To reflect their eco-friendly and socially responsible spirit, they decided to further evolve and re-imagine their branding in 2017. "We are happy with our refreshed image: a greener image reflective of our commitment to the environment, our Kraft colors and use of recycled materials." 

Besides that, Agrinag has also increased its efforts in social responsibility and in expanding their eco-friendly practices. "We are currently certified by The Rainforest Alliance, Flor Ecuador, BASC, among others." They were the first farm and at that time the second business in Ecuador to comply with the Allance's new and strengthened norms.

Future plans 
A few weeks ago, Agrinag started an inventory in Miami for U.S customers. Same freshness and reliability just a few days faster. We plan to grow even more with this inventory.

For more information
Juan Marin Paredes


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