02 October 2018
NAIVASHA, Kenya: Social responsibility, innovation and inclusivity and diversity in the workplace were the highlight of the night at the recent FKE Awards (Federation of Kenya Employers). Kenya’s largest grower and exporter of rose flowers, Oserian Development Company, successfully won three awards for projects that put people and planet at the heart of their horticultural business.
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 the 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, 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 dependents. 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.
Oserian runs the world’s largest geothermal greenhouse heating project to reduce carbon emissions and control climate.