Sian has been in the cut flower business for well over 2 decades and over the years they have been able to expand tremendously. Their flagship product has been roses that they export globally and now, they introduce summer flowers from their new farm Sololo Agriculture Ltd which is finally in commercial production. This brings Sian's total acreage to 136 hectares by end of 2020. Last Friday, October 23, the first flowers were auctioned at the Royal FloraHolland auction and the farm was pleased with the results.
New summer flower farm
Sololo Agriculture Ltd is located in Eldoret, in the highlands of the Rift Valley, nestled at a location overlooking the scenic Sergoit Hills and few kilometers from the Kerio Valley home to the world renowned Elite world champion athletes. The farm lies at a high altitude (2,250m), cool nights, ideal climatic conditions for cut flower production.
"Due to the proximity to the Equator our flowers enjoy 12 hours of sunshine throughout the year guaranteeing our customers high quality products with big heads, thick stems, intense tones and long vase life. We have spread our production cycles to guarantee supplies throughout the year," says the chairman of Sololo Agriculture Ltd, Micah Cheserem.
Strategic decision - Diverse product portfolio
Sian used to be focused on rose production, but several years ago, they made a strategic decision to evolve from focusing on rose production to offering a wider range of ornamental products, hence the expansion into production of summer flowers. "We are fully committed to creating a diverse product portfolio that meets all our esteemed customer needs including packed at source bouquets."
The product portfolio from their new farm has many kinds of summer flowers, currently they have 19 varieties of summer flowers in their assortment. "The assortment is vast with trendy assortments that includes tinted flowers." The very first flowers have been officially launched and have commenced sales at the Dutch flower auction, Royal FloraHolland last Friday. According to Yvonne Tirop, marketing & Business Development Manager at Sian, the results were positive. "We had been doing a lot of awareness prior to the launch on Friday and so buyers were eagerly waiting to buy the products. We heard that the buyers were happy with the product portfolio. Some of the products that we sold included craspedia, gypsophila, veronica, and according to them, they were looking good. The auctioneers told us that the products were impressive and that Sololo has a good chance to compete with other products in the market."
Building a farm during a pandemic
The farm is in commercial production, but not finished yet. By the end of 2021, the 20ha will be filled with flowers. But how was (and still is) it to built a farm during the pandemic? "Despite the farm coming into commercial production right in the middle of the current pandemic, we have been able to wither the storm of covid-19 and we have continued to expand as we had planned. All thanks to the tireless efforts of the dedicated staff who have exhibited good teamwork despite stringent covid-19 protocols characterized by social distancing," says Andrew Tubei the General Manager of the new farm.
"We are proud of our achievements so far and enthusiastic about our future. We look forward to continuing our success alongside each of our partners which includes our esteemed customers, breeders and other stakeholders who we collaborate with,” says Chris Kulei, the director at Sian Roses.
"Forging forward, we remain dedicated, always putting our customers first and keep creating value as we focus on quality, reliability and responsibility."