THE PRODUCTS

Where do mywear t-shirts, Pirkka and K-Menu tuna products, Pirkka Fairtrade roses, and PROF Timber sold in our stores come from? We want to increase the transparency of our purchasing chains by providing information on the origin of our products and their journey to our stores. Choose a product to find out more.

HIGH-QUALITY PIRKKA FAIRTRADE ROSES ARE LONG-LASTING

ENSURING SUSTAINABILITY IN ALL STAGES

Sustainable production is monitored with audits

We ensure social responsibility in our suppliers’ production with third-party audits. Attention is paid to the working conditions in factories and plantations, including occupational safety, salaries, working hours and compliance with the ban on child and forced labour, among other aspects.

Fairtrade audits ensure that working conditions, labour rights, Fairtrade premiums and environmental considerations are in line with the Fairtrade criteria. 

Taking care of the environment

The Fairtrade criteria also include requirements related to environmental protection, aimed at promoting the sustainable use of soil and water resources, for example.

On Kenyan flower farms, environmental considerations are promoted in many ways, such as reusing water and using renewable energy sources. Flower farms collect rainwater in pools for irrigation. If necessary, water can also be taken from wells, lakes and rivers.

Quality assurance

At K Group’s Quality and Product Development Unit, the laboratory monitors product safety and the quality of the company’s grocery brands and imports. In quality assurance for flowers, attention is paid to outer quality and product labelling, in addition to ensuring that the quality of the flowers remains high all the way to the consumer. During a preservation study, the preservability and shelf life of flowers are checked throughout the chain, from the packaging department in Kenya to the Finnish consumers.

 

Flower buckets are reused as flowerpots

The bunches of flowers are delivered to the stores in black plastic buckets – nearly 400,000 buckets are used for this purpose each year. In 2019, K Group collaborated with Lassila & Tikanoja and Orthex to develop a model for the efficient collection and processing of the flower buckets for reuse as flowerpots, which are now sold in K-food and K-Rauta stores.

ROSE FARMING

Pirkka Fairtrade roses, spray carnations and floribunda roses come from various Kenyan flower farms, such as Oserian, Nini and Ravine.

The sunny weather in Kenya is ideal for rose farming throughout the year. Kenya’s location on the equator provides for daily sunshine, with only minor changes in temperature. Kenya also has excellent transport connections.

Many species of roses

When choosing a rose species, attention is paid to the length of the stem, resistance to plant diseases, strength and suitability for the weather conditions in Kenya, as well as yield per square metre. Important selection criteria also include current trends, the beauty of the rose, the flower opening duration and the vase life. 

Colours change by the season

The colours of the roses sold at K-food stores are chosen based on customers’ preferences and the season. Cold colours, such as pink, are favoured in the spring. Warm colours, such as orange and yellow, are popular in the autumn, while red and white are Christmas favourites.

FROM KENYA TO FINNISH HOMES

The temperature during the transport of Pirkka Fairtrade roses is monitored to ensure high quality. The roses are transported by refrigerated cargo plane from Kenya to the Netherlands. Studies show that despite the flight, the carbon dioxide emissions generated by roses grown in the warm climate of Kenya are around five times smaller than the emissions generated by roses grown in greenhouses in the Netherlands. The protective packaging is removed in the Netherlands, quality is checked and new absorption areas are cut on the roses, which are placed in buckets with water and flower preservative. The roses are transported to Finland in a temperature-controlled truck, which travels from Germany to Finland by ferry. In Finland, the roses are delivered to Kesko’s central warehouse in Vantaa, where they are collected to be included in loads delivered to K-stores. The roses arriving in Finland can be available for customers at stores as early as the next day.

FAIRTRADE PREMIUM

In 2020, a total of €318,000 was paid in Fairtrade premiums to the farmers for the Fairtrade flowers sold at K-food stores. The Fairtrade premium is paid to the producers in addition to the sales price. The local farming community is responsible for the use of the Fairtrade premiums. The funds are intended for the social or economic development of the community.

Fairtrade premiums have been used for many purposes on flower farms

  • Building classrooms for the local school
  • Purchasing school supplies
  • Providing a water tank with clean water for the pupils of the local school
  • Building a day-care centre
  • Granting scholarships to students
  • Improving workers’ living conditions
  • Establishing a computer room
  • Planting trees
  • Providing healthcare services for preventing and treating illnesses
  • Creating opportunities for sports and cultural activities in the local community.

SUPPORT FOR THE OSERIAN FARM

On the Oserian flower farm, Fairtrade premiums are used e.g. to build classrooms for the comprehensive school. The school offers free breakfast and lunch for 1,500 pupils and is free of charge for farm workers’ children. Fairtrade premiums are also used to grant scholarships to students for upper secondary school and higher education.

The local farming community works to improve the workers’ nutrition and has established vegetable gardens for this purpose. 

Salary sufficient for living

The Oserian farm pays workers three times the minimum wage. The farm also provides its workers and their families with free healthcare services. Mothers are entitled to a three-month maternity leave, and they can breastfeed their baby during working hours at the day-care centre on the farm.

The K-food stores sold

1.7

million bunches of Pirkka Fairtrade roses in 2020.
On the Oserian farm, workers with children are paid subsidies to cover

60%

of school expenses

FLOWER FARMS

Supplier:
Karen Roses Company delivers high-quality cut flowers mainly to the UK and EU markets. The company has continuously improved its social responsibility and environmental work, which has been verified through various quality management systems and certifications, such as Fairtrade (since 2004), Leaf (2007), MPS A (2001), MPS-SQ, ETI and MPS-GAP (2003) and BOPP.
Flower farm :
Ravine Roses consists of five farms: Kapkolia, Chepsito, Kaptumpo, Simotwo and Torongo. The farms are located in the Eldama Ravine region in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya, around 220 kilometres north-west of Nairobi and only a few kilometres north of the equator. Their location is ideal for growing high-quality roses.
Sustainability:
Ravine Roses received Fairtrade certification in 2005. Fairtrade roses represent 40% of its annual total production. This translates to around 25 million Fairtrade roses per year. Ravine Roses is the largest employer in the Eldama Ravine region and plays an important role in the local economy, as the regional unemployment rate is high among young people and most of the residents are self-sufficient farmers.
Supplier:
Oserian Flower Ltd , founded in 1969, has established its position as a world-leading flower farm in terms of e.g. social responsibility, environmental work and steady production growth. Oserian has had a Fairtrade certification since 2003.
Flower farm:
Oserian flower farm is located by Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley, right below the equator. Oserian comes from the Masai word ‘serian’, which means ‘be in peace’ or ‘be safe’. The farm grows roses, carnations, baby’s breath and other flowers, which are exported around the world, from Europe to Australia.
Sustainability:
Oserian contributed to the construction of the Naivasha maternity hospital in 2013. The Oserian Fairtrade Premium Committee covers the cost of employees’ and their families’ hospital care, in addition to maintaining an around-the-clock ambulance service. Part of the farm, around 7,300 hectares, is a conservation area with rhinos, imperial zebras, cheetahs and other endangered species.
Supplier:
Nini Group consists of the farms of two family businesses. The farms have several certifications related to quality and social responsibility, such as ISO 14001, MPS-SQ, MPS-GAP and Fairtrade.
Flower farm:
Nini Group farms – Nini Limited and Lamorna Limited – are located side by side by the southern shore of Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley region in the province of Nakuri. Nini grows all roses hydroponically in greenhouses using a closed irrigation system.
Sustainability:
Nini Group Fairtrade premiums are used to run a staff canteen and a day-care centre, as well as for acquiring personal protective equipment for workers. Classrooms have been built for the Ndumbiri and Mirere schools, as well as drinking water tanks for the Milimani school. Premiums are used to cover 70% of upper secondary school and university fees for the workers’ children.

Ravine Roses flower farms

The farms are audited regularly by a third party (GlobalGAP audits), most recently in

2021

To ensure social responsibility, Fairtrade audits are conducted regularly on the farms, most recently in

2018

The farms have

1,200

workers
The farms grow

63

million roses annually

Oserian flower farm

The farm is audited regularly by a third party (GlobalGAP audits), most recently in

2020

To ensure social responsibility, Fairtrade audits are conducted regularly on the farm, most recently in

2019

The farm has

3,500

workers
The farms grow

350

million roses annually

Nini Group flower farms

The farms are audited regularly by a third party (GlobalGAP audits), most recently in

2020

To ensure social responsibility, Fairtrade audits are conducted regularly on the farms, most recently in

2020

The farms have

1,000

workers
The farms grow

110

million roses annually

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