EWF-Flowers Plc (EWF), founded by Dutch entrepreneurs in 2008, is a unique propagation company in the arboriculture industry of Ethiopia, located approximately 25 km from the capital of Addis Ababa on 15 ha of land. Leveraging on comprehensive experience and expertise built up in the Netherlands, EWF is a pioneer in its field and to this day remains one of the only specialized companies of its kind in East-Africa, and particularly in Ethiopia. EWF is focused entirely on developing, producing and selling cuttings and young plants to clients of the arboriculture industry worldwide, the range of products consisting of shrubs, climbers and young trees for the gardens of Europe, the Middle East and the US.
„With state of the art technology and production facilities, sophisticated supply-chain management and advantageous climatic conditions, we competitively supply the worldwide arboriculture industry with cuttings and young plants from the Ethiopian highlands in a socially responsible manner”
The company holds a modern 3000 m² propagation unit fully equipped with the latest state of the art, Dutch technology (water purifying installations, fertilizer systems, cool stores etc.) and has 12’500 m² of mother plants capacity on high-tech container fields. Leveraging on vast experience with propagation of plants in the Netherlands as well as in Africa, the company has a strong management team in place, consisting among others of a production manager with 20 years of experience and a general manager, who shares his time between Ethiopia and Europe, providing an excellent link between production and the market. The company has developed and implemented sophisticated proprietary IT-systems to efficiently run its operations and its supply chain. EWF creates local jobs, providing training programmes for its employees to qualify local labour in the activities of propagating, cutting, fertilizing, spraying etc. Further steps in qualifying local labour include promoting some of its employees as department managers (trained e.g. in growing techniques and in use of agrochemicals) and further qualifying employees in crop maintenance, growing techniques, harvesting, quality management, packaging and safety. Several social responsibility measures are being exercised, including Healthcare and HIV/AIDS prevention program initiatives, the establishment of a medical clinic at the company’s propagation facility, paying salaries at least 10 % above the minimum salary as required by Ethiopian law and the employment of a great number of women in its operations.
Originally, EWF applied the European market as its test market, exporting only a small number of cuttings and plants in 2010, which has however grown ever since to reach an expected exported volume in 2013 of 20 million cuttings and plants. Excellent weather characteristics in the highlands around Addis Ababa, with year-round sunshine and relatively cool temperatures, provide for excellent growth conditions for these plants. A distinct advantage over European producers is the continuous production potential throughout the year, as natural production in Europe is only possible from springtime until autumn, the remainder of the year facing the need for (costly) artificial lighting. Through various sales channels, the company targets growers who are in the need of young plants for their respective production plans, the clients hence being both large growers and traders, who consequently reach smaller clients. Having developed its knowhow in Ethiopia during 2008-2010, the company has now left the initial stages of its business cycle and is ready for scaling its production.
To learn more about EWF-Flowers, please visit www.ewf-flowers.com