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Carl Jaunay

Flower Grower


Carl Jaunay took a job for his gap year – and instead found himself a career as a flower grower. "I loved it so much I signed up to an apprenticeship.

"I knew I wanted to work outside when I left school. I had done part-time dairy farming, but I didn’t like the early morning starts and the mud. I decided I’d do horticulture and tried cucumbers. I didn’t like that. It's very monotonous, prickly work. The fruit’s prickly – they actually rub the prickles off the cucumbers before they sell them. I only did a week’s work and it just wasn’t for me. 

"I came here to do standard cymbidium orchids. I started off picking leaves off the floor, and learned a bit more. I did an apprenticeship and eventually got promoted to manager."

A highlight of Carl's career to date was coming third in the 2006 Young Horticulturist of the Year competition. He also came second in the related AGMARDT Market Innovation Project competition. "We had to come up with a new product or idea and draw up a business plan and how we’d implement it. I got second in that and it was worth quite a bit of money. 

"We had to draw up cash flows and see if it would offset the loan cost. I really enjoyed it, and I made contacts with people in organisations that have been put to use in later years."

Carl enjoys the variety and challenge of work as a flower grower. "If you go into flower growing it’s not going to be la-la-la-la-la picking flowers – there’s a lot of other things! There’s pumps and machinery, spraying, management of the staff, and quarantine issues with bugs and other things. The job is interesting because there is always something to learn."

How Carl became a self-employed flower grower:

  • Was homeschooled and took Year 11 maths, science and English and Year 12 agriculture and horticulture, and computer studies. Also worked part time on a dairy farm.
  • Got a job as a labourer at a flower-growing business, which led onto a horticultural apprenticeship specialising in flower growing.
  • Was promoted to manager of the flower-growing business and spent five years there.
  • Set up his own orchid-growing and exporting business.