Qualisa are located in the Cayambe Valley in Ecuador, growing flowers nearly 3,000 metres above sea level.
Qualisa are known for the quality of their flowers. Their roses are renowned for their long stems, intense colours and clean and healthy foliage.
Qualisa are committed to the wellbeing of all who work for them, specifically the health and safety of workers. Around half of their workers are women.
The door was smaller before, now we women are more empowered. Trainings help us learn our rights, increase our understanding, how to give our opinion.Qualisa worker
The company was recently part of a wider study on Ecuadorian flower farms, which showed how Fairtrade supported the wellbeing and rights of female workers at these farms. For example, the Fairtrade Standards help prevent practices such as firing pregnant workers or having pregnant women near dangerous chemicals, which can be common in Ecuador’s flower sector.
What makes Qualisa unique?
Qualisa have two farms located in the Cayambe Valley, just north of Ecuador’s capital Quito, where the climactic conditions are excellent for flower production. Together, the farms make up nearly 30 hectares of greenhouses, specifically for rose production. A commercial test area is dedicated to cultivating special flower varieties.
There is also a specialised propagation centre and plant nurseries, to help raise strong and healthy plants. Each farm also has a post-harvest area and cold rooms for optimal care for cut stems. Each has clean, disinfected and organised facilities, with trained personnel, which guarantee customers receive the freshest and most uniform rose bouquets.
Qualisa’s work with Fairtrade Premium
Fairtrade is an important aspect of Qualisa’s work.
A committee of workers choose how best to spend the Fairtrade Premium they have earned from sales of flowers. Projects and programmes with wider community benefits are making a difference at Qualisa.
In 2019, the organisation began ‘Comisariato Comunitario’. This project aims to provide Qualisa workers with basic necessities like food and kitchen essentials at lower prices. They also attend annual community fairs, where workers can sell and showcase their products. The profits generated with these projects will be invested in social programmes.
Since 2004, through the Fairtrade Premium, Qualisa have financially supported the nearby Petalos and Sonrisas Child Development Center (CDC).
Thanks to this investment, in April 2011 the CDC opened new facilities with the capacity to receive more than 120 children from the surrounding community.
In January 2018, the company signed an agreement with the Ministry of Economics and Social Inclusion in Ecuador. It meant that the centre will now be financed with resources from the state, as well as the Fairtrade Premium.
The CDC serves children aged between 12 and 36 months old, prioritising those in vulnerable or low-income situations. 40 percent of the children are sons and daughters of Qualisa workers, while the rest are from the community.
The curriculum includes:
- Intellectual and motor skills
- Social development
- Preventive health, food and nutrition plans
- Gender and family violence eradication programmes
- Social work services
- Free medical and therapy care
- Social activities