A red rose has always been an integral part of Valentine’s Day celebration. It symbolized love, passion, courage, beauty and joy. Something as simple as a perfect red rose makes Valentine’s Day very special.

This Valentine’s we would like to discover the perfect red rose which is loved by consumers, marketers, and growers.

A journey of a perfect red rose begins with a vision and idea in the breeder’s mind many years before it reaches the consumer.

In this fashion, the two rose varieties Rhodos and Ever Red, since their introduction to the market by the century-old breeding company The Ruiter, emerged as one of the most favorite red rose during Valentine’s.

Mr. Santosh Kulkarni, General Manager of PJ Dave Flora ltd

What do the qualities of a perfect rose consist of? In the following conversation, Mr. Santosh Kulkarni, General Manager of PJ Dave Flora ltd, through Shabistan Khan (De Ruiter), talks to us about the Success of Rhodos, Growers & Breeder’s relationship and his vision of the company.

PJ Dave Group is a family owned business organization having five farms located at different altitudes in Kenya. PJ Dave Flora Limited (owned by Mr. Pravin Dave and Mrs. Elizabeth Dave), PJ Dave Flowers Limited and Rising Sun (owned by Mr. Hitesh Dave), and Isinya Roses and Porini (Mr. Rajesh Dave). PJ Dave has come a long way from 2 hectares rose farm in 1997 to 240 hectares rose farms in 2020.

“For any organization, people are our most important assets. As a group, we give more emphasis to the education and health care of our people and community at large. The group has built primary and secondary schools, and classrooms for several other schools in the surroundings. We have also built a clinic for people at our farms”, Kulkarni tells us, highlighting some of the CSR activities the group employed.

According to you, what factors make Rhodos a success in the market?

Mr. Kulkarni: Rhodos is one of the best red roses of this era. It has all the good qualities of a wonderful rose. A perfect red color, big bloom, slow opening, beautiful bloom when it’s open and relatively longer vase life. This beautiful rose is almost thornless, easy to work with and the best traveler. It will remain in good condition in dry boxes for longer than any of its counterparts.

“We have received a Fairtrade certification and premium will be used in education, health care and to the general benefit of our people and community at large. We equally care for our environment; we minimize the use of fertilizers and chemicals, out flowers are grown semi organically.”

PJ Dave Flora Limited grows roses at an acreage of 57 hectares. Thereof 37 is destined for the production of Rhodos, at the remaining 20 hectares other varieties and colors are grown. As a group, PJ Dave grows Rhodos in 90 hectares. Rhodos is exclusively grown by PJ Dave Group.

“Rhodos is one of the best red roses of this era. It has all the good qualities of a wonderful rose.”

How old is your collaboration with breeder De Ruiter? What kind of help and support does De Ruiter provide to its growers?

Mr. Kulkarni: We go back a long time. We have developed a beautiful and successful business relation with De Ruiter about an extended period of time. De Ruiter is the only breeder boosting marketing activities worldwide. They have a dedicated team to the varieties all over the globe.

For Rhodos specifically, they exercise online and offline marketing strategies generating better demand and sales.

What will PJ Dave look like in the future, what plans do you have?

Mr. Kulkarni: We want to become the largest grower of the best quality roses with consistent supply. We have a few upcoming varieties in the pipeline and apart from that, we hope to further expand the production of Rhodos.

What made you gravitate to plant Rhodos? Did you expect the success it’s received?

Mr. Kulkarni: Our Director/Chairman Mr. Dave is a great visionary and has a great insight in the industry. While surveying, we felt the Rhodos will be the best red rose in the industry. At first, it was a huge risk, as we are growing this one variety at a large scale, but with time Rhodos became our best selling variety.

Whom would you like to give a bunch of Rhodos on valentine?

Mr. Kulkarni: Of course my wife.