A rose-coloured take on climate change for Valentine’s Day
Ahead of the Valentine’s Day, the founder of Australia’s first ever rose petal farm wants to talk about the unromantic topic of climate change.
Sarah Sammon is the award-winning young business woman behind Simply Rose Petals, the largest producer of freeze dried rose petals in the Southern Hemisphere. Based in Swan Hill (South Eastern Victoria), Sarah’s farm produces rose petals for Valentine’s Day, weddings and other romantic occasions and exports to 15 countries worldwide.
So what has climate change got to do with Valentine’s Day?
In October 2015 Sarah’s farm experienced its hottest month on record by 6 degrees, and in recent years, warmer weather has led to changes in rose growing periods throwing picking seasons out of whack.
Whilst Sarah has been recognised as a sustainable agri-business leader – she’s secured both a 2006 Churchill Fellowship and 2014 Nuffield Farming Scholarship – she says romantics of the future may face rose shortages in the face of decreased availability and rising prices.
“Warmer weather has extended our growing period. We used to finish picking around late May. The last couple of years, we’ve actually picked into July, when we normally start pruning. It’s completely bizarre to be picking in July; we are having frosts and still have roses producing.
You can’t do the full winter prune until the roses have lost all their leaves and gone into hibernation. This year we didn’t finish pruning until early September. That affects our labour, because we now need to contract pruners full time over an intensive period to get everything pruned before the hot weather.”
For information or interviews please contact Sarah Thompson on 0420 892 450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.