Kenya’s largest grower and exporter of rose flowers, Oserian Development Company, has been awarded in three categories of the 2018 Federation of Kenya Employers awards, emerging as the only winner in the horticulture industry.
The win in the innovation and productivity, responsible business conduct and inclusivity and diversity categories, rubberstamps the farm’s commitment to people and planet through sustainable flower growing practices, investment in staff welfare and ethical production of world class flowers.
The annual awards seeks to celebrate excellence in corporate performance, people management and industrial relations amongst employers of various sectors in Kenya.
The rigorous judging process that was overseen by audit company PWC involved self-assessment based on set thematic areas and field visits to test the ‘how’ of the various processes in each thematic area. Scores were then awarded based on the specified metrics.
“This recognition affirms our resolve to continuously innovate in meeting the needs of our staff who oil the engine of our growth while fulfilling market needs. We have endeavoured to ensure workplace becomes the new home for our staff and our open door policy allows the workers to find value in the company as we grow together,” said Mary Kinyua, the Director of Human Resources and Administration at Oserian.
The company has more than 11,000 people living within its premises which comprises of employees and their dependants. It runs nine educational institutions that cater for the children of the 4,100 workers employed in the farm, healthcare centre complete with ambulances, insurance, staff housing, upgraded roads and electricity that it has sourced independently from geothermal energy.
A crèche with a capacity for 100 babies that has been in existence for ten years ensures that young mothers are taken care of at the workplace allowing them to breastfeed between work breaks. Run by personnel trained in baby care and housed within the farm’s dispensary the crèche ensures that emergencies are sorted even before the mother is alerted.
The creche has been recognized by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health as a center of excellence in workplace breastfeeding.
On diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, the farm has among other initiatives employed deaf people in its various departments who have gone on to become the most productive as they give full attention to their work without any detractions.
“As a company we seek to give everyone a chance to use the skills not just for the growth of the company but for personal development and to take care of their families. We are happy to note that people with special needs, women and young people besides contributing to the diversity of this company, have been pivotal in getting us to where we are today,” Mrs. Kinyua added.
The company has also been a frontrunner in championing responsible flower production by embracing integrated pest management initiatives over conventional pesticides, use of hydroponics technology to reduce fertilizer and water consumption and runs the world’s largest geothermal greenhouse heating project to reduce carbon emissions and control climate.