Holla Roses BV

The foundation of Holla Roses BV was laid by Peter Holla, who since 1986 passed on his passion to his sons Paul, Marc and Bart. After years of experience in the Netherlands, Holla Roses pushed out frontiers and started a rose nursery in Ethiopia in 2005 located on Lake Ziway, some 160 km south of the capital Addis Ababa. The company started producing rose flowers in the city of Ziway on 27 hectares of land and then increased to 42 hectares. Holla Roses’ vision is that the importance of sustainable and socially acceptable production of roses is paramount.

Holla Roses’ range of flowers consists of 17 different species. Some of the rose varieties have the most common colours: pink, white, yellow and red. There is also a lot of demand for mixed bouquets and given this trend, they also offer different colour lines and bi coloured roses. The assortment for wholesale and retail sales is precisely determined.

Holla Roses supplies its products through flower auctions such as RoyalFlora Holland Aalsmeer and Plantion Ede, where all products can be bought fresh on a daily basis.


Holla Roses’ team is strongly focused on sustainability. Holla is responsible for keeping track of the environmental impact of the rose farm. Efforts are being made to improve fertile areas, raise awareness of employees health and so on. To support sustainability efforts and mitigate climate change, we are working with IDH and ISLA. Together with them we planted trees in the area. Both inside and outside the farm, we have created wetlands containing various plants that filter the water.



A sustainable and socially responsible rose production is very important for Holla Roses. Social responsibilities must be carried out, especially in a country like Ethiopia. Certification marks provide insight into the production methods of the roses and show that they are produced responsibly and with respect for people and the environment. Independent organisations test Holla Roses for environmental performance and ensure that the social conditions of employees are in order.

Holla Roses is proud to inform that it has been awarded many certifications. These are therefore fully propagated:


– Fairtrade

The Fairtrade certificate means that the rose farm meets all kinds of criteria in terms of environmentally friendly production and good living and working conditions for employees. Holla/Ziway Roses receives the Fairtrade label for community projects on and around the nursery in Ethiopia. A number of Holla Roses employees form an independent committee and are setting up projects to meet the Fairtrade label. This way, the living conditions of the employees can be further improved.

Each bunch of flowers bears a label with the Fairtrade hallmark and ID number that makes the flowers traceable. Not all roses are sold in the shops as Fairtrade roses. As soon as there is a Fairtrade label, they are sold in such a way that the consumer also contributes to the better living conditions for the people at the farm.


– MPS-A – A certificate indicating that the presence of the farm has a minimal environmental impact.

In concrete terms, this means that we can keep the environmental impact of our farm to a minimum. An environmental standard has been developed based on the registration of four environmental themes: plant protection agents, fertilisers, energy and waste separation methods. By means of registration, the participants obtain a certain number of points. The participant receives a qualification based on his total score: Holla Roses has the best possible qualification for the most environmentally conscious cultivation.


– MPS-SQ (Socially Qualified) A certificate indicating that the company’s social management is in good order.

In addition to environmental requirements, international supermarket chains are increasingly focusing on the social aspects of business operations. This certificate refers in particular to the working conditions, such as employment contracts, payment of a minimum wage (our salaries are above the minimum wage of Ethiopia), a maximum number of hours per working week (48 hours), right to maternity leave etc. The desired standard working conditions are based on universal human rights, the codes of conduct of representative local organisations and the international agreements of the ILO (International Labour Organization).



ETI stands for’ the Ethical Trading Initiative’ and we have had this certificate in our possession for some time. It is a silver certificate that stands for good cooperation and improvement of the balance in the lives of poor, vulnerable employees in nurseries and other businesses around the world.



Since 2013 Holla Roses has joined the ‘Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association’ and is therefore joining forces with several fruit and vegetable companies that export their harvests from Ethiopia.

Crop Protection Agents Kg Active Ingredient: 

Provides insight into the use of plant protection products. Red stands for substances with a high environmental impact, orange for substances with a low impact on the environment, green for substances with a low impact on the environment (Source MPS-A).

Energy (GJ):

Provides insight into the use of the amount of energy. (Source MPS-A)

Fertilizers (KG) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Consumption:

Provides insight into the use of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. (Source MPS-A)


Holla Roses takes care of her staff!

Holla Roses currently employs 1.200 people, mainly women, who all live in the neighbouring village of Ziway. Because motivated and healthy employees are important to the company, Holla Roses tries to involve them in the company as much as possible. For example, Holla Roses has set up an employees’ council in cooperation with the staff, in which the employees can give their input to the company.


Strict policy

In order to guarantee the safety of workers, Holla Roses has a very strict policy regarding crop protection agents. During control, workers are required to wear spray masks, waterproof gloves, rain suits and boots to avoid any contact with plant protection agents. Furthermore, the workers may not enter the fields for several hours after spraying.

Holla Roses is aware of the importance of sustainable and socially acceptable production. Growing roses in a country like Ethiopia is only possible if you take social and ecological responsibility. This also means taking care of society. With a school for the employees’ children, a hospital and a sports facility, we have laid a socially responsible foundation.



A very modern and extensive hospital has been built on the complex. This is where employees can go to the SEH, the antenatal and baby clinic and for medication. There is also an HIV/AIDS clinic located in the hospital. Holla Roses tries to inform her employees as much as possible about the dangers of this disease. The farm has its own doctor with a consulting room for basic examinations.


Time to relax

In addition to the work, there is also time for relaxation. For example, in collaboration with the Sher Ethiopia project, Holla Roses has built a stadium for her staff in which they can play volleyball and football. Working together on fitness and team building.


Education has the future

The children of employees can attend the collective preschool and primary school, as well as a fully-fledged school for children up to the age of 18. Supervisors or higher management staff can develop further within Holla Roses by following English lessons. Education is offered and paid for by the company. There are always career opportunities for every department of the farm and office. Through EPHEA (Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association), we provide training to all people. Information on hygiene, HIV & family planning will be provided to employees with the help of the Red Cross. Besides the work, there is also time for relaxation; employees can practice a lot of sports.


Have a field day

Roses must be cut every day, even on holidays such as Christmas and Easter. In collaboration with the employees, Holla Roses organises a party with food, drink and music on these days after the completion of the work.


Did you know that flowers and plants have a healthy effect on people?

  • Plants provide air purification..
    People breathe in air, take out oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In the case of plants it is the other way around. During photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it back into oxygen. The amount of oxygen in the air is increased by the presence of plants, which makes breathing easier.
    Air-purifying plants can absorb harmful substances from the air through their leaves. These harmful substances are then stored and broken down in the plant’s roots. These plants can also break down dirty odours, so they are actually natural air fresheners.
    For the sake of clarity, every (indoor) plant produces oxygen, but not every plant also purifies the air. Air-purifying plants are e.g. the Spathiphyllum, Calathea, Hedera helix (ivy), Areca palm and the Ficus. For many plants we do not yet know to what extent they have an air purifying effect since they have not yet been tested.
  • Plants ensure a better concentration and a reduction of stress.
    Plants create a relaxed and better atmosphere, also at work.. Plants make the workplace a more pleasant place to work.
    Apparently there is even a relationship between the presence of plants and the productivity of employees.
    Moreover, the presence of plants has a positive effect on the creativity and concentration of people.
  • Plants reduce the dryness of the air
    The dust content and humidity in the house are strongly related with each other. The dryer the air, the more dust. This can cause symptoms such as a tickling cough, dry skin, headaches and irritated eyes. By watering plants, it finally evaporates again through the stomata in the leaves. Plants can thus increase the humidity of the air, which therefore benefits the air quality.
  • Plants provide a pleasant and warm feeling
    Research has shown that plants are good for people in various (subtle) ways. They play an essential role in creating a pleasant, natural and quiet environment in which to move, work and/or relax.
  • Did you know that flowers too have a healthy effect on people?
    Flowers can brighten up any room in a magical way. They give meaning to our emotions such as love, joy, comfort, compassion and sorrow. Flowers provide a relaxing effect on our constitution. They provide positive energy in the home and a warm feeling. In short, everyone is just very happy about that!



The Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector is worldwide renowned for its innovative power. In order to be one step ahead of the competition from other parts of the world, people are constantly looking for better efficiency in the use of raw materials and space. This, of course, without compromising the (top) quality of the Dutch product.

The glasshouse horticulture sector in the Netherlands can cope with this rapid pace of innovation thanks to a strong relationship between research and practice. In addition, a great deal of knowledge is exchanged between the entrepreneurs in order to make progress together. The flower auctions are a good example of this as one of the largest cooperatives in the world.
Below we describe a few examples of this innovative power.


Biological control and integrated pest management
In order to minimise the use of pesticides and to find a better balance between parasites and their natural enemies, natural enemies of the parasites are used in the greenhouses. Thanks to the intensive exchange of knowledge between the growers and their suppliers, growers are increasingly able to produce a top quality product with organic solutions.


Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a large engine, originating from the shipping industry. Only it has been converted to run on natural gas. The efficiency of this motor is higher than traditional gas boilers. These engines drive a generator that generates electricity. This electricity is used in the company’s own nursery or is supplied back to the public electricity grid. The ‘residual heat’ produced by the engine is used to heat the greenhouses. After cleaning, the exhaust gases can be used to provide the plants with CO2. All in all, these motors provide an efficiency that can be up to 20% higher than the traditional method of heating (gas boilers).


Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is used for this type of energy. A drilling tower is used to drill a well to a depth of 2-3 km. At this depth, water of more than 80 degrees can be ‘collected’. This heat is used to heat the greenhouses and then the cooled water is returned to the soil via a second source. It is expected that these sources will be able to continue to produce sufficient heat, even longer than the life of a greenhouse.

Drilling the well is an enormously expensive investment. In addition, there is a great risk that the drilling will ‘fail’. By working together with each other and with governments, in the Netherlands we are able to gain experience with this way of heating greenhouses sustainably.


Water purification
Plants need water and nutrients to grow. More and more nurseries are making use of the reuse of drainage water. This is water that is collected before it disappears into the subsoil. This ‘drainage water’ still contains many nutrients that can be used by the plants.
By reusing this water and mixing it with clean water, less fertilizer is used.
However, the drainage water also contains some ‘wrong substances’. The content of these wrong substances determines how much water can be reused. The application of new techniques creates opportunities to filter these ‘wrong substances’ out of the water.


Diffuse glass
In new constructions, more and more growers are opting to cover their greenhouses with diffuse glass. Diffuse glass ensures that light is distributed much more evenly across the crop without any shade or light spots. This leads to a more even greenhouse climate.
Temperature and humidity can thus be controlled more accurately, which means, for example, that the opening of the air windows can be limited, which leads to lower CO2 emissions.


LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture
A new innovation in horticulture is the use of LED lighting. This lighting is not comparable with LED lighting used in consumer use. In the horticultural sector, the lighting is produced by ‘power LEDs’ and therefore much higher. The major advantage of these ‘power LEDs’ is related to sustainable business practices: energy savings compared to high-pressure sodium lamps (orange-coloured lighting). This saves more than half of the energy.
Another major advantage is that when using LEDs, crops can be better controlled using the different colours in the light. This is in favour of a better growth and a higher quality of the product.

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