MIAMI, USA: Flowersandcents.com and Floracultureinternational.com spoke with our trusted floral sources in Ethiopia and the story reported by Reuters today is accurate regarding the damages at multiple farms.
(Reuters) – “At least seven foreign-owned flower farms in Ethiopia’s Amhara region have been burnt to the ground or partially damaged in political violence afflicting the country over the past two months, producers said on Friday”.
The largest and most visible farm attacked was Esmeralda farms owned by the late Peter Ullrich. According to the company’s website the farm was burnt to the ground on Monday August 29, 2016.
In a general announcement to its clients the company said, “By a politic demonstration, the entire company of Esmeralda Farms in Ethiopia is set on fire. It is estimated that 10 million was spent on investment went up in smoke last Monday.”
What seems uncertain is exactly why these farms were singled out. The most obvious clue is that these farms were all foreign owned or controlled. Yet a farm assumed to be owned by an endowment affiliated to the government in the same area was also partially affected.
F&C and FCI were told that Esmeralda sustained the most damage mainly because it was the most complete operation having been in production for over two years. The other farms affected were smaller and still being developed and not damaged nearly as much. In a few cases the farms water supplies were compromised but in all cases no one was injured.