We recently spoke to Guido Zwart of Mount Elgon/Rose Handling Services about digitalisation in the floriculture industry, the start of Floriday and the current working method. Read more in the interview!
Mount Elgon cultivates 43 hectares of roses, 200 hectares of avocados and 2 hectares of summer flowers at the foot of Mount Elgon in Kenya. It is a genuine family business, where the fourth generation is currently in charge and the fifth generation is being readied. Mount Elgon has its own processing company in the Netherlands, Rose Handling Services, located on the Royal FloraHolland location in Rijnsburg. The incoming shipments from Kenya are processed daily at Rose Handling Services. It then makes all the preparations for the auction and handles the logistics of national and international orders.
Besides its passion for flowers, Mount Elgon is also focused on civil society in Kenya. Years ago, Mount Elgon established its own trust with which it supports civil society in Kenya, including its own orphanage and hospital, HIV testing centres and a school for children with disabilities. It also attaches great importance to climate-neutral production of its roses, by means of solar panels and a hydroelectric power station.
Digitisation in the floriculture industry
“Of course something had to happen. The industry was working with outdated systems and more and more small systems were being developed around us. Which is of course not efficient for anyone. Sometimes you have to jointly move in a certain direction and it takes a deadline to get people on board. With the arrival of Floriday, we can work together as a cooperative which, hopefully, will ultimately strengthen the industry. But, getting to the point where we are now has been a long journey. Working towards a totally new way of working in a difficult (corona) year with a very tight deadline was not always pleasant. At Mount Elgon, we have taken this process very seriously from the outset and have done everything possible to comply with digital trading and the associated working methods. In the end, we are very happy with the excellent link between FreshPortal and Floriday and the functionalities that were developed recently, though it has not been without struggle.”