The 10th edition of the International Flower Trade Exhibition (IFTEX), one of the largest flower exhibitions across the globe was held from June 6-8 at the Visa Oshwal Center in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The successful event featured more than 165 flower industry exhibitors including growers, breeders, florists, and suppliers, all showcasing the current innovations and trends shaping the global flower scene.
In the week of this event, Alina and Cristi Neacsa, Thursd's dedicated videographers, were all over Kenya to provide comprehensive insights into the production processes across the many flower farms and establishments throughout the nation.
Kenya's Rich Flower Heritage
While the event brought to the fore and showcased Kenya’s richness and diversity in flower production to satisfy the global requirements [all under one roof], a critical piece of the enigma of the country’s success in flower production still remained unnoticed and lingered just behind the scenes. Not many who attended and took part in the IFTEX exhibitions had the privilege to perceive how Kenya’s flowers came to be.
That includes the processes involved in the flowers’ production; from breeding to growing the blooms and the logistics processes involved to the point that you, as the buyer of the flower, receive your enchanting bouquets and blooms.
Thursd Production Is Born
Worry not, a happy dance is in order because Thursd was at hand to make sure that you get all the information behind the production of these leading blooms that grace events like weddings, birthdays, memorials, and other celebrations across the world.
Videographers Alina and Cristi Neacsa, took it upon themselves to ensure that Thursd brings you all you need to know about Kenya’s flower industry and the production processes in the numerous flower farms and establishments that dot the country. In the epic travels, they were accompanied by Regine Motmans, Thursd's floral business connector.
Just after the IFTEX, the three traversed the country, from the often chilly terrains of Ol Kalou in Nyandarua County to the temperate environs of Laikipia, Nakuru, and even Nairobi, exploring Kenyan flower farms and getting a feel of how they work, with Alina speaking to the people involved in the Kenyan flower scene, while Cristi took the magnificent shots of the vast flower farms.
The result is an enchanting journey that takes one through all the behind-the-scene workings of the Kenyan flower industry and how it is managing to create waves across the global flower scene.
Thursd Production is born.
A Busy Schedule With Visits to Growers and Breeders
Here's the chronology of the pair's travels across the rugged terrains of the East African country as they chased the true Kenyan flower story and brought you real pictures from the ground.
United Selections & Könst Alstroemeria
United Selections is a leading rose breeder in Kenya, renowned for its exceptional quality and innovative varieties. Located in fertile lands, they leverage the ideal climate and rich soil to develop captivating roses.
With a wide range of colors, sizes, and fragrances, they cater to diverse market preferences. Sustainability is a priority, employing environmentally friendly practices such as integrated pest management and water conservation. They also support local communities through employment and social initiatives. United Selections is dedicated to elevating the standards of rose cultivation, making it a trusted partner for businesses and individuals seeking elegant and enduring roses.
Edwin, the marketing manager, guided us through the whole story of United Selections. We were able to take several interviews and see the process of breeding roses. Amazing to see what they can accomplish. Here you can enjoy the beauty through our first Thursd Production: "United Selections' Corporate Movie".
Some years ago this breeder teamed up with Könst Alstroemeria to empower their marketing efforts. This quality alstroemeria breeder also has a big presence in Kenya. That's why it was logical that Alina Neacsa was guided by United Selections CEO Jelle Posthumus not only through the roses greenhouse but also to see the latest alstroemeria varieties.
A pioneer in Kenya's flower production, Sian Flowers is a producer of high-quality roses and summer flowers. The company has four farms in the country, including Agriflora Kenya Ltd. located in Njoro, Nakuru County at an altitude of 2,150m above sea level, Maasai Flowers Ltd. located along Kitengela - Namanga road, 40km from Nairobi at an altitude of 1,650m above the sea level, Equator Flowers Kenya Ltd., which was started in 1997 and is located in Eldoret at an altitude of 2200m above the sea level and Sololo Agriculture Ltd which is located in Eldoret, in the highlands of the Rift Valley at an altitude of 2,250m.
The farms are all situated in regions that present optimal conditions for flower farming, making them ideal for floriculture. Sian has deployed sustainability practices in its farms.
During its visit to Sian, Thursd's team had the opportunity to witness first-hand all the developments that the flower has that are geared towards enhancing the flower sector in the country and ensuring that customers across the world enjoy its quality blooms.
Christopher Kulei, Sian Flowers' executive director, was at hand to take the video crew through its Nakuru-based farm showcasing the production processes that result in the company's globally acclaimed blooms.
Royal van Zanten: Marginpar and Molo Greens
At Molo Greens, it was fabulous to see how they work on a sustainable farm with the donkeys bringing their flowers around. From harvesting to packing. And what's beautiful to see is how they empower women. At the moment the Thursd video crew was there, limonium was harvested already few weeks before and the second flash is only coming later on. But the story was so strong, that the crew was delighted to have visited the farm.
At the Marginpar farm, the Thursd Video Crew was happy to talk to grower Samue, production manager Dennis, and several more. Limonium China White and Limonium China Summer, a few of the beautiful crops of Royal Van Zanten were the point of attention.
The farm is really big and at an altitude of 1,300 meters above sea level production is good. The quality of the harvested Limonium was extraordinary and the Thursd Video Crew was happy to capture it all.
Black Tulip Flowers With Several Flower Farms in Kenya
Black Tulip Group has its head office in the United Arab Emirates but possesses numerous flower farms across Kenya as well as in Ethiopia, India, and Malaysia. The enterprise's core focus has, for the most part, been wholesale, retail, importing, exporting, and growing flowers and indoor plants. They pride themselves on the effort they are making to grow organic. By 2025 they want to have that title.
It also deals with the growing and maintenance of indoor plants. In addition to this, Black Tulip Group is a designer of bespoke floral arrangements made of fresh-cut flowers for markets around the world.
Thursd's video crew visited numerous Black Tulip Group's flower farms across Kenya, including Laurel, Golden Tulip, Sun Floritech, Ecoroses, and Akina from the Fontana Group, where the team composed of Alina, Cristi, and Regine had a feel of how flowers are grown in these farms.
Based on the shores of Lake Oloiden, which is a sort of an extension to Lake Naivasha, De Ruiter East Africa (DREA) is a flower breeding establishment that is the regional branch of the globally acclaimed De Ruiter flower breeder. The scenic journey to this establishment takes one through the rugged terrains that define Naivasha where most of Kenya's flower farms are located.
With its wide variety of exquisite roses, De Ruiter is proving to be one of the leading breeders supplying flowers to numerous growers across the country and even beyond borders.
Based in the Subukia region of Nakuru County, Subati Flowers Ltd. is also another flower grower that the team visited in the course of their travels across Kenya's different flower farms. Subati Flowers Ltd. grows more than a hundred spray and single-head rose varieties. Subati grows its roses in greenhouses spanning over 125 hectares at an altitude of 2,200m above sea level. This gives rise to exceptionally high-quality T-Hybrid roses, which the flower grower exports more than 60 million stems every year, to 25 different countries around the world.
The last day of the tour saw the crew visit Airflo, a leading logistics company in perishables that specializes in providing world-class fresh logistics solutions for fresh-cut flowers. The company is conveniently based at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where fresh flowers can easily be processed and loaded to the aircraft for conveyance to different markets across the world.
Airflo's Country Managing Director, Peter Verner Kristensen, and the Operations Manager, Charles Njubi were at hand to receive the team and show the three throughout the facility explaining all the nitty-gritty that go into transporting the flowers from different farms across the country to the global markets.
Inside Airflo's cold storage facility were packs of virtually all types of flowers ready and waiting for shipment as the employees braved the chilly conditions inside the facility hurtling to get things ready for the flowers to be loaded into respective aircraft for their different destinations.
On the other side of the cold storage facility, staff are busy on their computers running twenty-four-hour shifts just to make sure that their clients' orders are received, recorded, and delivered in the shortest time possible. The twenty-four-hour three shifts, according to Kristensen, seek to ensure that Airflo's operations are efficient and that there is always someone on call to attend to customers' needs.
Just next to Airflo, Octoflor, an international export and marketing company based in the Netherlands but with a Kenyan-based flower sourcing hub, runs its operations. Though it is just a small team in the office, Octoflor's efficiency in its operations is admirable.
End Good All Good
These two weeks of travel and filming resulted in videos for several of these visits that will travel the world. Thursd Production will continue its work, so if you are interested in having that beautiful and special coverage of your farm, contact [email protected].