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Media release. Sarah Rose Bloom. 2014 Scholarship winner

Media release. Sarah Rose Bloom. 2014 Scholarship winner

Sarah Rose Bloom from Swan Hill in Victoria, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Horticulture Australia Limited using voluntary contributions from Nuffield Australia and matched funds from the Australian Government. She received the award at the organisationʼs prestigious National Conference dinner last night (Thursday) at Crown Perth.

Sarah will research the commercial viability of alternative flower petal products, as well as advancements in the production, packaging and marketing of rose petals. With her mother, Sarah founded Australia’s first rose petal farm nine years ago and now they grow and freeze-dry the largest colour range of rose petals in the southern hemisphere.

Sarah grows the rose petals outdoors on the family farm, where they have more than 6,000 rose plants and a small crop of hydrangeas, which produce from October through to July. Sarah will research alternative flower petal products to ensure the domestic industry continues to evolve and thrive.

“While the Australian rose petal industry has grown exponentially, growers have not diversified from pure rose petal farming for the wedding industry – to remain at the forefront, it is important that growers continue to introduce new products and packaging to meet market demand. My studies will investigate the production and packaging of edible rose petals for culinary use as well as certified organic rose petals and their commercial viability,” Sarah says.

She will also include research into niche markets including rose petal oil, crystallized flowers and tourist shops or cafes on flower farms.

Sarah also hopes to focus on storage and packaging in her studies.

“Rose petal production has dramatically changed in recent years from primarily air drying to freeze drying. Meeting with packaging experts and rose petal experts will provide Australian growers with relevant and up-to-date research on advancements in storage and packaging,” she explains.

Sarah hopes to travel to Ecuador, the UK, France, Bulgaria, Germany and the USA.

Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) CEO John Lloyd said HAL is a proud supporter of the Nuffield Scholarship program. “This program provides the forward thinking leaders of our industry a strong foundation to achieve their research endeavours, which I am sure will contribute greatly to the ongoing growth of the horticulture sector,” Mr Lloyd said.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation providing opportunities to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. In March 2014 we will have one group travelling through Canada, United States (California and Washington DC), Mexico, Europe, Brazil and New Zealand, while a second group will tour South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Europe and USA.

Sarah is available for interviews to talk about her planned study.  Mobile: 0408 329 690

A high-resolution photo of Sarah is available for download online in the 2014 Nuffield Scholar gallery

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