For over 39 years the staff of one of our largest suppliers has tested and evaluated everything from variety selection, to production input, to social standards and recycling. The company’s production requirements are complex and include on-going research into integrated pest management, post harvest performance and protecting the ozone. In fact, the farm is the proud recipient of the United States EPA’s 2007 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award.
The integrated and sustainable management of water is a very important aspect in flower production. All the water employed to irrigate the crops at our largest supplying farm is used and reused. The water management system developed here involves collecting rainwater in specially designed channels which takes the water to large reservoirs. These reservoirs are also fed by treated waste water obtained through the production cycle as well as from kitchens and bathrooms. The waste water is treated in septic pools which periodically have biological products added to speed up its decomposition. Waste water that has been polluted with toxic substances is treated in an isolated area prior to discharge to prevent soil or water pollution. Water is also taken on a continuous basis from a “rainwater only” reservoir to a treatment plant that makes it suitable for drinking and bathing.
Most of our South American farms have integrated waste management program. All waste material is reused or recycled, aiming to reduce the amount of final waste generated. Organic waste is recycled into compost, while glass, cardboard and plastic are sold at low prices to organized community based recycling organizations.
Chemical, pesticide and fertilizer residues are treated by keeping them in waterproof tanks with chemical-proof covers. After four weeks in these tanks these residues separate into sediment and a top liquid layer. The remaining liquid is used to spray the gardens and trees around the farm.
Most of the waste generated by the production process is organic. One hectare (2.47 acres) of chrysanthemums produces 1.5 tons of fresh organic material weekly. Since 1990, composting organic waste has been a very important process at Jardines , where 40 tons of compost are produced weekly. Today mixing compost into the soil before planting is a routine practice. Incorporating compost helps maintain a fertile soil and improves its water-retention capacity. It also restores the micro-organism population that help decrease pests and disease.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The Integrated Pest Management Program’s main objective is to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers. The program is based on the early detection of insects and fungus on the crops which then determines the type and amount of the pesticides to be used. The goal is to reduce the amount required to a minimum. IPM requires rigorous analysis of climate variables (temperature, humidity, evaporation, light intensity), soil and plant nutritional levels. IPM has helped to achieve not only highest quality flowers, but control of soil diseases and minimal environmental impact by reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. .
BASC (Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition) – BASC Colombia is a program designed to ensure the safe export of products from Colombia to the USA. Florverde – Florverde is an internationally recognized program developed by the Colombian Flower Grower Association, with the objective of promoting sustainable and competitive floriculture in Colombia. Jardines is a founding member of Florverde.