Women leading and working in the flower industry
Recent citizenship projects supported by Saudi Aramco has given local women residing in Taif unique work opportunities and suitable financial incomes. The work ranges from manufacturing experience to marketing and sales, providing a range of positions and venues for women to develop themselves and rise in this new industry.
Skin-care products factory “Roseyar,” one of Aramco’s newer citizenship initiatives, is using Taif’s exclusive rose attar to empower local women.
Roseyar, inaugurated early in 2021 with 40 employees — technicians and admin staff — offers local Saudi women, who have limited opportunity to earn an income, to work with a team producing a range of six rose-fragranced body products. The philanthropic venture is showing notable personal and financial returns.
Factory manager Hanan Abdulateef said the factory was producing products to an international quality consumers trust, and has given Taif females a decent job opportunity, with a suitable financial income.
“Roseyar has empowered female workers in the field of industrial production, which is new for Saudi women,” said Abdulateef, who adds that the factory is also focused on supporting small industries as vendors.
To close the circle on full diversity, the factory has plans to introduce a men’s product range using local lavender.
Keeping an eye on marketing and sales numbers is marketing officer Lamia F. Al-Ghalbi, who joined Roseyar in June 2021, and says online marketing has spurred the project’s sales to SAR 1 million in under two years.
“The best-selling products are the body lotion and body perfume,” said Al-Ghalbi. “We have a large customer segment in Dubai, a distributor in the eastern region, and our products are displayed at a point of sale in al-Baha, in addition to the farms located in Taif and the online store.
Al-Ghalbi said Roseyar gave her marketing and sales experience, “Roseyar allowed me to receive another job offer in an educational institution that provides virtual classes and educational books.”
“Now I have two jobs at the same time,” she quietly smiles. “My father is proud of my work, which makes me self-reliant.”
Aramco supported Roseyar by refitting and providing best in class equipment, and the facilitation of permits and certification, including Saudi FDA standards, which is vital toward unlocking international markets. Manufacturing up to 100,000 units annually of body care products in line with FDA standards, the project growth can lead the factory to increase its production by launching new lines and products.
Workers on Roseyar’s factory floor — a gleaming high-tech lab — wear protective gear as they tend to an array of glossy stainless steel equipment generating the 200 kg of daily production. Dry and wet tanks mix product ingredients, air-pressure devices fill containers and seal tubs, assurance tools check product quality, and the packaging line includes laser printing an expiry date on the packages.
Production line supervisor Aisha F. Al-Zahrani, a former perfume specialist and trainer, is in charge of the production line, and says each day’s 200 kg is focused on manufacturing for one of Roseyar’s six products.
“Taif roses are distinguished by their sanctity, and the depth of their scent reflects memories, and ancient history.”
“Our mothers and grandmothers support us because they saw that we are able to develop roses that did not receive attention before. Producing different products from roses can be similar to a female who gives birth to wonderful children,” said Al-Zahrani, when questioned about local approval toward women working at Roseyar.
The work of manufacturing technician Afnan A. Jan is divided in two shifts, “I manufacture one day and the next day I take over the tasks of the warehouse.”
After graduating with a special education degree, Jan was nominated by the Taif Chamber for a perfume-making course. “The project started, and I was able to apply what I learned in that training course in my field of work.
“My understanding expanded about this industry as I became familiar with the process of distillation and oil extraction.
“The Taif rose has a different scent from other roses, and when I smell this scent, it takes me to another happy place, making me feel that I am flying as if I were a butterfly,” said Jan.
Aramco identified the Taif damask rose as one of five regional Saudi treasures for the company’s citizenship initiatives.
Roseyar, an idea put forward by Aramco and the Women’s Al-Yakaza Charitable Association, is adding quality to both people’s lives, and the Kingdom’s artisan perfume industry.