March Issue 4 2011

REPORT: MEETINGS ON THE REVIEW OF THE EU PLANT HEALTH REGIME

By: Union Fleur – Brussels, 18 February & 2 March 2011

Lennart Loven, Union Fleurs President, Jan Roelofs, Chairman of the EU Section and Sylvie Mamias, Union Fleurs Secretary General, accompanied by Frank Zeiler, Managing Director of BGI, recently attended two meetings in Brussels related to the review of the EU Plant Health Regime.

“Review of the EU Plant Health Regime” – Working Group on Plant Health of the Advisory Group on the Food Chain, Animal and Plant Health – consultative meeting organized on 18 February  by DG SANCO (Health & Consumers) of the European Commission and attended by 50 participants from European sectoral organizations and Member States authorities:

  • The EU Plant Health regime has been under review since 2008. To support this review process, a detailed evaluation has been carried out in 2009 and 2010 by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC). The outcome of the evaluation was presented and discussed at a conference on 28 September 2010 in Brussels, attended by Union Fleurs. Steps are now being taken by the European Commission to prepare a legal proposal to reform the regime, which should be ready by 2012, with an anticipated implementation by 2014.
  • The evaluation report contained a series of recommendations and options for the future review of the regime. The meeting on 18 February was organized to specifically address those options for the new regime which have been identified in the previous consultation round as expected to have major impacts. The meeting was meant as a technical meeting aimed at gathering specialized inputs from stakeholders and was one of the last opportunities for stakeholders to make a contribution to the new plant health system that will be in place in the EU from 2014 onwards.
  • Main issues discussed during the meeting :

1.     Revision of the plant passport system

2.     Revision of the protected zones system

3.     Revision of the import regime in relation to high-risk trade

4.     Rearrangement of the EU Plant Health and plant reproductive material regimes in relation to harmful organisms

5.     Modalities for EU co-financing of losses

Union Fleurs inputs focused mostly on issues related to the import regime and protected zones system.

  • In addition, it was explained that the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC) has recently been commissioned to carry out a supplementary economic impact study, to be finalized by July 2011. Data and specialized inputs from stakeholders were requested during the meeting.
  • The Commission also presented during the meetings its project to soon review as a package the EU framework Regulation 882/2004 on official controls , in order to harmonize definitions and horizontal aspects (such as competent authorities, training, inspections) common to plant health, animal health and seeds & propagating material. Issues specific to each sector would however remain regulated in separate pieces of legislation. A Commission legislative proposal is foreseen for the first semester of 2012 and adoption in the following two years.

Union Fleurs meeting with Maria Christodoulou and Lucia Russio (Agra CEAS Consulting – member of the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium) – bilateral meeting organized on 2 March 2011:

  • A bilateral meeting between Union Fleurs and the consultants carrying out the economic impact study was set up to specifically discuss the following points of interest to the consultants:

1.     Quantitative data related to palm trees / Rynchophorus ferrugineus and trees of the Acer species including bonsai trees from Asia / Anoplphora chinensis: volume of trade for these plants, number and profile of private operators involved in this trade, costs & losses incurred by private operators

2.     Estimated economic impact of alternative control measures such as post-entry quarantine and import bans.

  • Union Fleurs was able to provide useful data and background information on the palm trees case in the Canary Islands and to give useful contacts in Spain and Germany for the consultants to collect further information. Union Fleurs will try to collect more information on trade data and revert to the consultants before the end of March.
    • Union Fleurs also took the opportunity to stress again a number of points detailed in the Union Fleurs written contribution of October 2010, namely:

1.     A balance needs to be struck between the necessary protection of the EU territory from plant health issues and the minimization of potential negative effects of phytosanitary measures on the floricultural trade.

2.     Securing the free movement of plants & plant products within the EU and with exporting third countries should remain a strong objective for the EU Plant Health regime

3.     The facilitation & speeding up of control procedures should be encouraged as much as possible.

4.     Clarity and transparency of the rules should be continuously pursued

5. Efforts should focus on prevention and capacity-building in origin countries, while a risk-based approach should be the principle rule for phytosanitary controls at the EU borders.

Innovative techniques for climate and energy management workshop

The Kenya Flower Council and Green Farming have organized “Innovative techniques for climate and energy management” workshop and match making event on Tuesday March 29th from 14:30 hrs at Naromoru River Lodge. This workshop is part of the second trade mission of the program Green Farming to Kenya.

Green Farming is a Dutch program that aims to develop sustainable production systems in co-operation with Kenyan partners that are economically and environmentally sound, and adapted to local conditions. The program Green Farming involves a joint representation of Dutch co-operating (complementary) companies that can offer a joint package of products, services including advisory and knowledge development, focussed on offering technical solutions for the sustainable development of Kenyan horticultural businesses.

The 3-year program involves a set of activities on the level of business-to-business and government-to-government that will be corresponding to the 5 main themes of the program being water management, crop management, climate & energy, post harvest & logistics and research and knowledge transfer.

The workshop will address:

  • The development needs in climate and energy management in the Kenyan sector
  • The need for flower branding for Kenyan producers that sell indirectly to the market
  • Suggestions on potential sector strengthening through knowledge transfer, capacity building, improvement in co-operation between Kenya and The Netherlands

The purpose of the workshop is both to inform the Kenyan sector on activities and developments on the one hand and gather the inputs of participants on the proposed matters for future follow up. At the end of the workshop the attendants will have the opportunity to meet with the Dutch delegation and join in the match making event.

Timaflor deliver. Regardless!

Best results are their number one priority and therefore quality has always made the company demand quality for life. Every day is a new day for them. This is none other than Timaflor Limited.

The farm was started in 2006 where they grow their flowers in soil. Their flowers are fed through drip irrigation. They have 65hectares under production with about 14 varieties of roses in total.

Based in Timau, the flower farm has invested in water harvesting from greenhouses into two big dams with enough water to last for about three months during the dry season.

They are committed to implementing all actions necessary to ensure that customer needs are satisfactorily honoured. Their success is enviable and it can afford to blow its own trumpet

According to Mr. Julius Riungu, the farm Manager, they have a workforce of 1064 employees whereby 40% are women and 60% men. They are committed to protection, health and safety of its employees and the surrounding human communities. The staffs go through in-house training in all aspects of producing environmentally friendly flowers. It is mandatory for the employees to use the right protective clothing when working.  The company continues to comply with applicable labour laws and social standards as stipulated in the ICC.

As part of their corporate social responsibility Timaflor under the good management of Mr. Simon Van der Burg, they have started the Timau Community Policing to cater for security in that area. They have also invested in water projects for the community around and are planning to start a school and a health clinic.

Timaflor is a member of Kenya Flower Council where they are Silver certified. This has been achieved through strict measures in environmental protection, adherence to labour laws and workers rights and waste disposal among others. They make sure all the policies, regulations and guidelines concerning environmental protection are stick on. The company is committed to being a leader in environmentally responsible floriculture practices hence protecting. They deliver regardless!

Ethiopia envisages to  triple flower export revenue by 2014

Source: Ethiopian News Agencies

Ethiopia, the second largest flower exporter among African countries, has envisaged to triple the amount of foreign currency it secures from flower export by 2014, the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers-Exporters Association (EHPEA) said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Association General Manager, Tsegaye Abebe said Ethiopia has planned to increase its annual flower export revenue to 530 million US dollars by 2014 from the 160 million US dollars it got last year (2010).

He said the amount of foreign currency the nation obtains from flower export has shown an accelerated growth since commercial flower farm was introduced in the country some 12 years ago.

According to Tsegaye, the country’s flower export revenue which stood at less than one million US dollars over a decade ago has jumped to 160 million US dollars in 2010.

It is expected to reach about 190 million US dollars in 2011 which will show a 25 percent growth rate against last year.

The government, which Tsegaye said, has been providing various incentives to the sector, is engaged now in extensive works to beef up the revenue it secured from flower trade in the next five years and attain the envisaged plan.

Tsegaye has singled out making available adequate land for flower farms in different regions of the country as one of the efforts being made by the government presently to increase the area of flower farms to 3000 hectares from the existing 1600 hectares.

The Amhara State alone has already prepared a 1000 hectares of land for potential investors in flower farm, he said, adding that Tigray, Oromia and South Ethiopia Peoples’ States and Dire Dawa Administration are ready to make lands available for the cultivation of flowers.

The conducive investment policy and the incentives being provided by the government is attracting more local and foreign investors to inject billions of Birr on flower farm development in Ethiopia that will help the country attain its goal.

According to the GM, the number of investors involved in the cultivation of flower has increased now to 85 from only five a decade ago. Some 55 percent of flower farms are owned by foreign investors. There was only 3-5 farms in the country where summer flowers were used to be grown in open fields in late 1990’s. Tsegaye said 2003 and 2004 were the years in which modern flower farms had proliferated in Ethiopia.

Unlike other African countries such as Kenya and Uganda which were able to achieve flower development after 30 years, it took Ethiopia less than a decade to attain rapid development, Tsegaye said.

Suitable land plus the cheap labor are attributed to the rapid development of flower in the country.

Flower, non-existent in the country’s export list in mid 1990’s, has now become one of the top 10 export products in terms of generating foreign currency.

Ethiopia has become the second largest country in Africa next to Kenya in flower export.

The country, which produces eight varieties of flowers, including cut flowers; exports its products mainly to Holland, Japan, Norway and Finland, among others.

Expo Flora Russia

HPP Exhibitions has launched for the second time an international floriculture trade fair in the capital of Russia. After an absence of 12 years HPP has taken the decision to follow up with this new inititiave.

The Expo Flora Russia 2011 will take place from Tuesday August 30 to Thursday September 1st , 2011 at the “state of the art” Gostiny Dvor Exhibition Center just steps away from the red square in Moscow.

A space (B.45) has been reserved for the Kenyan Growers and the Kenya Flower Council. Inside this pavilion companies will receive free of charge: floor space, standard stand construction package and 3 to 4 flower designs including pillars and vases. So every company will only need to pay the registration fee of € 195.00 per participating company.

HPP has started this new show as per request of important Russian representatives of the floriculture industry. They wanted to have a show that is much cheaper, on a much better building, with much better management and much more specialized in floriculture.

Non Auction days at FloraHolland in 2011

Below a list of the non auction days in 2011. This is valid for all auction locations of FloraHolland and Veiling Rhein-Maas; except for German Unity Day, which is a non auction day for only Veiling Rhein-Maas.

Non Auction days 2011 Day Date Week
All Locations
Easter Monday Monday 25 April 17
Ascension Day Thursday 2 June 22
Whit-Monday Monday 13 June 24
Boxing Day Monday 26 December 52
Only Veiling Rhein-Maas
German Unity Day Monday 3 October 40

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