Good practices

Good practices reduce the social cost of a rose

Reduction in social costs of a rose through the adoption of good practices (Eur/rose stem)

The graph shows how best practices can bring the external cost of a rose to zero. The baseline social cost represent the current social cost of a rose from Kenya. This can be minimized by implementing Corporate Social Responsibility measures that are also good for business: gender responsive structures, healthy and safe working conditions, fair remuneration, employment security, freedom of association and an optimized water use.

Gender responsive structures


Trained workers sharing the training 
content with others

Ghuliani, C., & Goldenberg, E. (2015).


Decline in unplanned leave within one year of opening child care facilities in one farm

IFC. (2013).

Introduce or strengthen the policy on sexual harassment policy 

Good social dialogue can lead to improved staff retention, reduced occupational safety risks and more efficient monitoring and improvement of company policies.

Train worker committee members on negotiation skills, labour rights, labour law and company policies.

Empower women to take an active role in representation bodies with trainings in leadership.

Grant employees time and resources to be informed about the committee activities, elections and meetings.

Support career progression
for women

Introduce professional training to increase women’s internal mobility.

Implement a female leadership policy and training in the company

Keep gender-disaggregated data on wages and positions.

Monitor and eliminate wage differences between male and female employees.

Example Sexual Harassment Policy

Helping Business Prevent Sexual Harassment toolkit

Provide on-site childcare or improve the existing childcare service

Access to improved childcare facilities gives employees with children the freedom to choose for more overtime hours in busy periods.

Beds, playgrounds, hygienic standards, access to healthcare and facilities to warm up or preserve food are important for parents to feel comfortable at work.

Professional care givers can be hired to guarantee modern and efficient day-care service for children of workers.

Provide access at a subsidised cost to let employees with children work with peace of mind.

Introduce or strengthen the gender committee

A gender committee can make women workers voices heard and their needs addressed. This is necessary to guarantee that employments benefits male and female employees equally.

Involve the gender committee in the monitoring of the harassment policy and in an effective grievance mechanism

Make sure that the side benefits of employment benefit women as much as men.

Offer training to gender committee members on their role, leadership skills, communication skills and how to efficiently handle harassment cases.

Monitor the attendance of gender committee meetings and remove obstacles for members to participate, for example making sure that they have enough time to participate.

Daycare, company case study

Gender Committee checklist

Making change

There are various organisations that will help achieve these goals. Some examples include Workers Rights Watch, Haki Mashinani and FEMNET.


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Healthy and safe working conditions



Return on investment over 18 months

Due to lower absenteeism and staff turnover after programmes in health education and improved clinics in the garment sector in Bangladesh (source: BSR 2010)



Farms joined forces to fund women helathcare facilities

In the Women’s Center & Maternal Health Clinic in Naivasha (source: Friends of Naivasha)


Reduction in pesticide costs achieved in a trial using IPM to replace acaricides in rose production

Trials showed a 50-70% reduction in pesticide costs using Phytoseiulus to replace acaricides in rose production (source: Labuschagne, L. 2017).

Include in the H&S policy pesticide exposure times, training, personal protective equipment and continuous improvement 

Train all workers on health and safety policy and procedures regularly, including temporary ones. It is a way to reduce absenteeism and staff turnover.

Improvements in health and safety training can lead to a fall in routine injuries, saving workforce and management time, as well as the costs of providing first aid treatment and medication.

Make protective equipment available in good conditions to all workers, not only pesticide sprayers.

Introduce monitoring and reporting guidelines and procedures to investigate accidents and identify potential improvements and prevention.

Look for the latest integrated pest management (IPM) solutions

IPM can reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides.

Lower or more rational pesticide use will in most cases reduce costs and increase yields and quality, while creating a safer environment for your workers.

Several providers of IPM products operate in Kenya. Most of them provide free consults to identify tailored solutions based on your needs.

Pesticide-related health issues have been shown to affect all workers in contact with crops, not only sprayers. Reducing pesticide use will improve health and productivity throughout the workforce.

Koppert - IPM provider in Kenya

Real IPM - IPM provider in Kenya

Dudutech - IPM provider in Kenya

Make better use of existing health facilities

Implement preventative care and education programs, including reproductive health education. This will reduce health-related absenteeism and protect productivity.

Bring healthcare facilities up to standard in terms of safety, cleanliness, equipment but also opening hours, privacy and information.

Make sure procedures and record keeping are optimised for maximising the benefits to patients.

Monitor and review the state of healthcare facilities regularly.


WHO's Five keys to a healthy workplace

Health facility toolkit guidelines

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Fair remuneration and employment security


Workers able to save up more of their wage after training

Ghuliani, C., & Goldenberg, E. (2015).



Higher willingness to pay for ethical products

Compared to regular products, for European and North American consumers, (source: Potjer et al. 2015).



Euro per rose is the cost of filling the wage gap

The additional cost of a rose when paying living wage for all workers (source: this study)

Enter dialogue with the worker committee to uncover ways to contribute to employees’ household income at a low cost

Providing meals can increase productivity for the most physically demanding jobs.

Housing allowances can significantly help employees make ends meet.

Complimentary transportation can not only help financially but also have a positive impact on harassment of women workers on their way to/from work.

Employees may be interested in cultivating vegetables or rearing chicken on unused company land. This can increase food security at a low cost.

Offer security on the long term by providing fixed contracts

Offer fixed contracts to all employees to allow them to plan ahead and benefit from more stability.

Creating shared value in the rose supply chain: Exploring the business case for a living wage rose

Financial Inclusion in the Supply Chain - evaluation of HER project

Paying a living wage, a guide for companies

Reduce insecurity by providing trainings on financial knowledge and literacy skills

Give basic and financial literacy training to help workers to make more informed financial choices. Training can lead for example to reduced household costs and increased saving rates.

Peer to peer training has been shown to have high effectiveness, as well as a lower cost.

By improving the employer’s image and food security, literacy and financial trainings can relate to increased productivity and decreased staff turnover.


Monitor wages and living costs together with trade unions, make steps towards paying a living wage

Keep data on wages and benefits and monitor them in the context of living wage benchmark studies.

Monitor the change in costs of living regularly to keep track of the wage gap.


Increase employee remuneration to reduce the living wage gap as much as possible.

A fast-growing number of living wages initiatives shows an emerging trend in global supply chains. There are clear opportunities for pioneering growers that decide to explore the trajectory towards a living wage.

Living wage in the Kenyan flower sector - special issue of P+

Living wage assessment - Mt Kenya

Living wage assessment - Lake Naivasha

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Freedom of association



Studies confirm the benefits of social dialogue according to the World Bank

Benefits include reduction of voluntary staff turnover and increase in job tenure and temporary layoffs (source:World Bank 2002)

Establish a good relationship with trade unions

Allow union staff to promptly access the company grounds

Allow employees time and facilities to meet with union representatives

Draft and sign a recognition agreement with national labour unions

Sign a collective bargaining agreement with recognized labour union

Adopt a company policy on freedom of association and procedures to make it known and respected by all staff.

Make the policy visible in the workplace and include it in staff trainings.

Make the policy applicable to all workers, including temporary and subcontracted ones.

Ensure compliance by introducing a functioning grievance mechanism, monitoring, continuous improvement procedures and clear responsibilities in the management for its implementation.

Append the policy to employment contracts and contracts with subcontractors. Some clients may also request it as part of due diligence.

Case study: Improving productivity through better communication

Freedom of association briefing for businesses

Freedom of association practical guide and templates for companies

Institute or strengthen the internal workers committee

Good social dialogue can lead to improved staff retention, reduced occupational safety risks and more efficient monitoring and improvement of company policies.

Train worker committee members on negotiation skills, labour rights, labour law and company policies.

Empower women to take an active role in representation bodies with trainings in leadership.

Grant employees time and resources to be informed about the committee activities, elections and meetings.


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Optimize water use


Yield increase that can be achieved using water-saving shade screens in flower greenhouses

Shade screens can reduce irrigation water use by 15% and increase yields by as much as 20% (source: Green Farming 2014)


1 year

Ultrafiltration can have a payback time as short as 1 year

(source: Floral Daily 2017)

Minimize the reliance on boreholes, rivers and lakes

Collect and store rainwater and flood water.

Reduce scarcity risks during droughts for both the farm and local communities.

Switch to water-efficient hydroponics systems 

Hydroponic systems use water and a substrate instead of soil. They allow fine tuning of nutrient availability and recovery of drainage water.

Reduced water use, lower fertilizer use and costs are key benefits of hydroponics.

Increased yields and stem length have been demonstrated in testing plots.


Green farming knowledge sharing project


Better water management brochure

Water sensors for small-scale greenhouses

Automate climate control for efficient production

Water content of soil can be monitored by sensors, to optimise water use, increasing yields but also saving water and agrochemicals.

Shade screens can be automated to protect crops in the hottest hours of the day, thus reducing plant stress and evapotranspiration.

Water monitors are also available for small-scale growers.


Reuse water with cleaning technologies such as ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis

The filtration of wastewater and its reuse for production can drastically reduce water demands and recover nutrients.

Ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis are leading technologies for water purification in greenhouses.

Ultrafiltration provider - case study #1

Climate control by movable screens brochure

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