Floralife’s Spotlight Program is a series of articles about where cut flowers come from, the people who make it happen, and their floral best practices. Today we visit Colombian Alstroemeria grower Jardines de Los Andes. They shared with us the beauty of their flowers, as well as the sustainability, employee enrichment and community involvement efforts that have landed them in the Spotlight!
Founded in 1969, Jardines de Los Andes is still owned and operated by the Herrera family. From its facilities in the Bogotá Plateau, a mile and a half above sea level, Jardines provides the US market with Alstroemeria and vibrant mixed bouquets. For over 40 years the Herreras have been pioneering a number of socially responsible floral best practices, which you can find in our recent Spotlight article about the Jardines de Los Andes. Here is a preview:
Floral Best Practices: Employee Enrichment
Healthcare and social programs are part of the benefits Jardines employees enjoy, including free medical and dental services, as well as counseling services for employees and their families. Practical training is also popular, as employees can learn a variety of useful skills such as cooking, computers, flower arranging and motorcycle repair, among others. Over 3000 employees and family members have taken part in this program.
Floral Best Practices: Community Enrichment
Benefits extend outside the company, as well. In addition to the programs mentioned above, Jardines de Los Andes pioneered the practice of equal pay for men and women. And an Employee Fund has helped employees realize the dream of home ownership, helping to provide stability and prosperity to the surrounding area.
Floral Best Practices: Sustainability
Jardines de Los Andes is an environmentally sustainable farm. 100% of the farm’s organic waste is transformed into compost, which is used jointly with other organic fertilizers; irrigation is done mainly with rain harvested water, and water used in other processes is re-used; and for pest control biological products and physical techniques are used.
Floral Best Practices: Recognition
Jardines de Los Andes is certified by the Rain Forest Alliance, and was recognized by the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its sustainability efforts, supporting UN industrial development projects, and for sharing pest management strategies and other success tips with growers around the developing world.
Floralife is happy to shine the Spotlight on the floral best practices of Jardines de Los Andes. And this is just some of the story. Check out the rest – including some great employee testimonials – on the Floralife Spotlight page. You can also get a glimpse of the farm in this colorful YouTube video.