March Issue 2 2011

KFC Certification Committee meeting on 9th March 2011
The KFC Certification Committee met on 9th March 2011 for the first quarter of year 2011 certification process. Fourteen farms were presented to the Certification Committee and all approved for Re-certification where five of them were Gold re-certified.
KFC congratulates Maasai flowers Ltd, one of the Sian farms located in Kitengela, for its first certification. Maasai flowers ltd. is a new farm with modern facilities growing spray and standard roses. They have over 400 employees under the good management of Mr. Wilfred Munyao, the farm Manager.
The farms included:-
Homegrown (K) Ltd. Farms:
1. Flamingo Farm – Silver & Gold
2. Kingfisher Farm – Silver & Gold
3. Hamerkop Farm – Silver & Gold
4. Siraji Farm – Silver & Gold
5. Sirimon Farm – Silver & Gold
6. Oserian Dev. Co. Ltd. – Silver
Sian Roses Farms:
7. Winchester Farm – Silver
8. Agri Flora Farm – Silver
9. Equator Farm – Silver
10. Maji Mazuri Farm – Silver
11. Maasai Flowers – Silver
12. Kariki Ltd. – Silver
13. Kenya Highlands Nurseries Ltd. – Silver
14. Freesia Ltd. – GlobalGap

Enhancing smallholder participation in the flower industry
USAID’s Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP, organized a smallholder flowers workshop on 9th March 2011 at the Horticulture Practical Training Centre (HPTC) at KARI Thika.
This was a follow up of a stakeholder’s forum held on 26th November 2010, to brainstorm the issues affecting the flower business and the way forward. The following key issues were raised during the roadmap discussion:
• Capacity building of the farmers and extension staff on technical issues and access to information
• Marketing-Access, information, promotion and tracking, development of local market and integration of Rose growers and summer flower growers to expand market opportunities.
• Research- KARI’s contribution in tackling production constraints
KHCP is working with smallholder flower farmers by providing technical assistance and market linkages for their products through partnerships with the private and public sector players. The project’s aim is to increase income opportunities for smallholder flower farmers thus reducing their poverty levels and improving household food security.
Kenyan smallholders have cut a niche for themselves in the flower business producing a wide variety of fillers including Arabicum, Eryngium, Mobydick, claspedia, scabiosa and Ornis.
Dr. Wilson Songa, the Agriculture Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture acknowledged that smallholders are coming out ready to learn new technologies and are now leading the way almost ahead of the policy makers. He said the horticulture industry policy was initiated after realization of the importance of the sector and will be presented to the cabinet soon.
Dr. Songa who officiate the workshop, added that issues to make the sector more competitive should be addressed and growers should continue working on producing high standards products. He noted that there is an improvement in the Japan market because of the high quality of flowers and it could be better if small holders could access the market. He said that Kenyans should embrace the culture of saving the little water available to be used during the dry seasons.
He urged the industry to work together with the Government for example in branding adding that partnership among the stakeholders is very important for the industry.
Dr. Charles Waturu, Director KARI Thika, said KARI will play its role as a research institution and looked forward to partnership with all the stakeholders.
Dr. Stephen Mbithi, CEO FPEAK said capacity building for the smallholders could be the main route for most farmers with the knowledge of markets before productions. He added that economic of scale and issues of logistics are factors to be considered owing to the fact that 60% of earnings by farmers go to logistics because of inefficiencies. In regard to production, he said farmers should be provided with information to know what varieties to grow and in which area.
Kenya Flower Council represented by Chief Executive Officer, Jane Ngige and Communication Officer, Winnie Muya made a presentation on the promotion of a local flower market. According to KFC local market which distribute less than 5% of flowers produced is an outlet for smallholders whereby their varieties add value to main flowers like roses through bouquetry. The market creates wealth and employment especially for the youths and this is in line with the attainment of the Government’s vision 2030.
Kenyan market for local flowers is very open with the prices determined by supply and demand factors. Most flowers are sold in main urban centres by street vendors and floricultural shops in high/medium class shopping centres.
KFC added that local market is a sustainable avenue for the smallholders in that they are able to meet their daily needs. They are working with government institutions to facilitate formalization of the flower business to SMEs.
Through the soko la maua, KFC continues to create awareness amongst Kenyans on floral products that are available locally to major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru among others
Others who attended the workshop included Wilfred Kamami of Wilmar Agro Ltd, representatives from Dazzling Petals, farmers from Nyanza, Emali, and Limuru among others.
Participants visited the Flower, vegetable and fruits units managed by FPEAK which will be hosting farmers for trainings. This will be done in collaboration with KARI, Universities for example JKUAT.

Imposition of Agricultural produces cess not in order
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Romano Kiome, PhD CBS, has stated that it is against government policy of centralizing tax collection through Kenya Revenue Authority to impose an agricultural produce cess on flowers, fruits and other horticultural products. This has come after some local authorities are in the process of imposing the cess at 1% of gross sales value.
He reiterated that implementation of such cess would amount to double taxation and should not be imposed.

Changes in plant health import pre-notification procedures
The food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) the body mandated by the British Government to inspect plant materials and fresh produce entering the country is making changes in the procedures for pre-notifying them about the impeding arrival of goods for the port of entry inspection and clearance.
They said this in a workshop organizes by the Fresh Produce Consortium, the association which represents the interests of fresh produce industry in UK, for importers and agents in the sector to discuss the changes in the procedures for inspecting horticultural products. Kenya High Commission participated in workshop.
Previously, importers and agents submitted the pre-notification and then faxed the supporting documents – phytosanitary certificates, airway bill/bill of loading etc, invoices to support the application; before presenting the original documents when they arrive with the consignment.
In the new system, importers and agents will be required to submit the application electronically and scanned copies of the above mentioned documents. The original phytosanitary certificate will be presented once they arrive with the consignment. This will shorten the time taken to clear the goods at the port of entry. The switch over is expected to begin at the end of March/ beginning of April 2011.
In the UK the process will begin at Heathrow Airport which handles about 90% of the cargo after which it will be gradually rolled out to the other ports of entry.

New growers and shops join Fair Flowers Fair Plants
As the market is gets more and more positive, FFP bears the fruits of this good development. Bellaflora and Florito, producers and wholesalers in various countries have joined as FFP participant.
In the meantime, on the production side FFP works together with 5 certification programmes, equal to the FFP standard. This means an increase of participating producers (and available assortment) at short notice. Due to the economic crisis and a lacking signal of demand from the market unfortunately some growers and traders have left FFP.
However more new ones have joined and the overall picture is a growth of FFP participants being positive and active in the market.
New possibilities for consumers in Germany and Austria
Bellaflora, a garden centre chain in Austria with 24 shops, has decided to start with the sales of FFP plants. In few weeks, the consumers in Austria will be able to find the plants in the shops. The sustainable developments in Germany continue to increase and therefore also the interest in FFP. The concrete result of this is the registration within FFP of the 43 shops of the German florist chain Florito who Since December 2010, have been are selling FFP roses from Ethiopia.
Garden centre Dehner who started with their FFP sales in April 2010, is expanding their offer in the shops with more labeled FFP plants from The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Denmark. The positive attitude in the sector has been very noticeable at the IPM in Essen as well, which ended in a lot of new and interested contacts for FFP.
More FFP products from growers and via new wholesalers
Besides the earlier cut flower expansion from Italy and Ecuador, FFP has experienced a lot of movement at the German producers market. At the IPM 5 plant growers from the Gärtnersiedlung and 3 production sites from Helix Pflanzen got their SQ-certification which now allows them to supply under FFP. Bruns Pflanzen Export is also an FFP producer supplying to a number of FFP traders.
To link the producers to the points of sale FFP is very happy to have welcomed new wholesalers lately. Among these are Thomas Fleurs (with 7 C&C’s in France and Spain), Burger Pflanzen, Helix- Pflanzen and Gärtnersiedlung Rain (Germany).
All actual FFP producers and traders are listed on the FFP website.
Certifications meeting the FFP standard
The FFP standard is based on the ICC (the International Code of Conduct) and environmentally equal to MPS-A. Worldwide there are several certification programs focusing on sustainable aspects. Fair Flowers Fair Plants wants to make it possible for producers to serve their customers without too much certification.
Over the past years various certification programs have been compared to the FFP Standard and in the meantime accepted as approved certification schemes for FFP participation.
The FFP standard can be fulfilled with one of the following schemes: MPS Socially Qualified (international), Fiore Giusto (Italy), Kenya Flower Council Silver Code of Practice (Kenya), Forest Garden Products (Sri Lanka) and Control Union Fair Choice (international).
Also 2 other organizations have applied for a benchmark with the FFP standard. Positive developments like these will bring forward a growth in the number of producers participating in FFP.
The increasing choice in approved certifications offers every producer the option to meet the FFP standard, enabling him to supply his products under the label of FFP. This growing assortment of FFP cut flowers and plants is awaited eagerly by the international trade.

Quality Reports – Soon Available In English
Growers can now subscribe via MyFloraHolland to reports by mail concerning quality remarks and re-checks. This information however is for the largest part in Dutch. This has come after receiving several complaints from international growers that they would like to see these messages fully translated into English, so that they can use the information to improve their products.

FloraHolland are fully aware of the necessity to provide this information also in English and in the past months a lot of energy has been put to get a clear picture on the scope of (ICT) work that needs to be done, and to make sure that this issue would get priority on the list of ICT-issues within FloraHolland. This effort has been made in cooperation between the management of the quality department as well as the Import team. According to the planning the information should be available in English at the end of May 2011.

Two more Saudi Cargo flights from Nairobi to Schiphol
In December last year Saudi Cargo started three freight flights per week from Nairobi to Schiphol. Because of the high demand for the transport of flowers, the airline will extend this service to five times a week in April. For all flights, Saudi Cargo uses MD11-freighters with a maximum capacity of 80 tonnes.
The freighters return from Amsterdam via Jeddah to Ryaad (twice) and three times a week via Jeddah to Johannesburg. While Saudi Cargo aims to do more flights to Schiphol, this will not be possible for the moment because all landing rights are used.
Source: Nieuwsblad Transport

Good flower prices in February at FloraHolland
Nearly all flowers in the FloraHolland Top-10 of February averaged a higher price than in the same month last year. Only the prices of freesia and hyacinth were lower. The average prices of all flowers increased by 1.5 cent to almost €0.24, the supply increased by 6.7% and the turn-over by 14.6%. The reason for the extra supply was the milder weather in the Netherlands, as compared to last year. Prices were higher because Valentine’s Day fell on Monday, while the Valentine’s Day on Sunday last year caused fewer sales.
Valentine’s Day caused good results of roses: the supply went up by 16% and the average price by 2.2%. It was also a good month for tulips, with a 7% higher supply and a 0.7 cent higher average price that reached 15.1 cents. Chrysanthemums (spray and disbudded) were popular for Women’s Day. The average price of spray varieties reached €0.363, which was 8 cents higher than in February last year; the supply was slightly higher. Disbudded sorts averaged 7.5 cents higher to €0.677. The price of lilies was 4 cents more expensive, while the supply was lower.
Source: Flower focus – 09 March 2011

One Language, Three Markets
“Germany, Austria, and Switzerland share the same (German) language, and thus a piece of culture. Yet, there are some differences in their flower markets,” says Joost Naber, FloraHolland’s market specialist. The German flower market saw a nice development during the recent years. At the same time, Switzerland has gone through recession, but had a significant recovery last year. In Austria the downtrend went-on last year, and this year the recovery is still going slowly.

In the consumers level there are no real differences between the three communities; they all share the ‘liveliness impact’ of flowers and plants. The differences are in the ways and places of purchasing. Germany’s market main attribute is its being a real ‘discount’ market. Discount shops are all over. Unlike in other European countries, the discount retailers dominate the market. Aldi and Lidl chains offer basic bouquets for € 1.99, and the others try to compete. In Switzerland the leading position is with Migros and Coop, the full-service supermarket chains, representing the medium-high segment in flowers. The Swiss consumers give high priority to social responsibility and environmental aspects, but also for ‘local for local’ approach.

Germany and Austria have 4 main sales channels – florists, supermarkets, hardware stores, and garden centres. The two latter channels have smaller share in Switzerland. The Dutch exporters specialized in providing the appropriate assortment and service for each of those markets, concludes Naber.
Source: FloraHolland

Price Recovery of Dutch Roses is better Than For African
Throughout the past 9 months, rose prices at FloraHolland found their way up from the dip they faced during the economic crisis in 2009. This is especially the case for the Dutch roses, and to a lesser extent for the African roses. “The crisis in 2009 especially hit the Dutch roses, because consumers found them too expensive”, says Teun van Turenhout, market manager at FloraHolland. During the crisis, consumers preferred the cheaper African roses.

After last year’s Valentine’s Day, rose prices started to go up, but two months later, this rise got disturbed for African roses by the ash cloud from Iceland: During this event, some of the African growers kept on exporting their roses even when they were too old, due to transport delays. “This has not been good for the image and reliability of the African growers”, says Van Turenhout. As a result, he noticed, after the ash cloud prices of Dutch roses grew faster than the African roses. The intense and long rainy period in East Africa later in 2010 was not beneficial either.

In spite of better prices, the Dutch rose area, which is currently around 450 ha, is still decreasing. According to Van Turenhout, it is especially hard to survive when growers have to change their rose plants. This takes a high investment for which it is difficult to get a bank loan.
Source: FlowerFocus.Info 24/02/2011

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