Mr. Simon Van Der Burg, Owner Timaflor Ltd
Choice of Market
What’s needed to succeed?
“Every day, every week and every month-you must be mindful about how your personal brand as a leader can elevate your relevancy, impact and influence-and it’s your responsibility to define its distinction before someone else does’, Simon told the Floriculture Team as they toured his expansive farm. The auction has its preference and is a completely different concept. This makes it very difficult to serve both markets, a position Timaflor Ltd. understands better. Timaflor Ltd. opted to stick with the auction market as most of the other growers went into direct market. “I will be the last person to leave the auction”, he adds.
It not just about the one who is in-charge, one’s hierarchy or rank, or whether or not one has a good relationship with the auction, it is all about consistence and value to your customers. The auction is a big sponge which cannot be programed and only weather dictate it’s supply and demand. Of the over 500 buyers in the auction, over 100 buy from Timaflor Ltd every day.
Timaflor Ltd is a reliable supplier of the auction whose balanced quantities decorate the auction daily. Though no direct communication with the customers, there is blind trust due to their consistency, popular varieties, good vase life, opening, colour, bud size, stem length and travelling.
In the auctions, you are your own boss; you have no commitment with any buyer. There are no pressures on specifications in any day. However, you must make sure you supply a cocktail of all colours and sizes daily.
The project has enabled Timaflor Ltd. to undertake its production by using solar power as an alternative energy source which is the growing trend among horticulture farmers in the region due to increasing energy costs. The new system is not only environmentally friendly but has also been said to be more reliable than the Kenyan electricity grid because of a constant, reliable and stable supply.
To ensure this, the farm has developed a healthy package which includes salaries and other financial benefits, medical training in regard to Aids, safety, safe use of chemicals and other disciplines related to their fields. All pesticides are applied strictly according to manufacturer’s instructions. Simon said Timaflor Ltd endeavour to provide a safe, hygienic and healthy working environment besides providing adequate and appropriate protective clothing and equipment.
The company recognizes the importance of sprayers. The sprayers have to pass a pre-employment premedical examination which includes physical fitness, general health and cholinesterase levels which then form the baseline measures upon which regular checks are measured. An alteration programme of three months is also applied. “We are dedicated to caring for our staff that in turn cares for the company,” said Simon.
The pesticide spray programme is supervised and directly driven by levels of pest and diseases linked to scouting. Spot spraying is used as the first line of action. Their computerized irrigation system ensures minimal water, fertilizer and chemical spillage.
Pest and disease infections are monitored daily, with observations scored on a pest/ disease score sheet. This reduces the need for blanket spraying hence minimizing environmental (both aquatic and terrestrial) degradation. If the pest /disease discovered by the scouts are well known, the relevant chemical is chosen and the spot spraying team swings into action to check the problem. The company has also invested in Biological control.
IPM is a key ingredient in the control of a number of pests and diseases. Red spider mites are controlled with two kinds of predatory mites, Phytoseiulus Persimilis and Amblyseius Californicus. Both are applied at fixed rates per ha per week.Spot applications of additional Phytoseiulus are applied to specific areas of mite infestation. Thrips are controlled using a predatory mite called Amblyeius Cucumeris. The farm is drenched monthly with Trichoderm which offers protection against soil borne diseases, this promotes healthier root system, thus improving uptake of water and nutrients.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Care Timaflor Ltd through its generous hand and big heart has continuously responded to numerous appeals for assistance from the community around. This response has been through extension of helping hand as requested and through need assessment by the company. We are part of the larger Timau community says Simon.
Environmental policy at Timaflor Ltd. recognizes and accepts the concern for the environment as an integral part of its corporate business strategy. As such, the company is committed in protecting the environment through policies and practices which improve the environment.
Any threat of pollution or environmental degradation from their activities and products is identified and either eliminated or effectively controlled. The company which is continuously audited by different companies is currently KFC Silver.