August Issue 1 2011

Hortec 2012 – Update August 2011

Dates – March 14th – 16th 2012
Venue – Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi

The next edition of HORTEC is March 2012!
• New lower prices for 2012!! US$250 per sq m made possible due to better sponsorship agreements and reduced costs! Stands will include tables, chairs, lights, power and facia board with company name. We will also supply shelves and display podiums for free (with a limit per stand). Plus Hortec branding on all stands.
• 60% to 70% of our exhibitors sign up with us year after year… exhibitors find new business, they meet current and new customers and they network with the industry all of which equals good business!
• HORTEC is wholly Kenyan owned and managed trade exhibition for the flower, fruit and vegetable sectors of Kenya and Eastern Africa.
• They have negotiated for exclusive parking at the KICC for HORTEC participants.
• ECO have a quantity of quality ‘extras’ for hire. Including carpets, cupboards, brochure racks, coffee makers, screens and more.
• HORTEC has been supporting the East African flower & vegetable industries since 1994.
• The Ministry of Agriculture through the Minister; Hon. Sally Kosgei are officially supporting the show.
You can find more details and a booking form their website.
A special 10% ‘early bird’ booking discount if you book and pay the 30% deposit before 31st August 2011


Telephone: 0722 848465
Or Visit their offices at 40 Mugumo Rd., Lavington, Nairobi

Sian Roses Kenya visits FloraHolland

‘A good learning experience with much positive and useful feedback from buyers’ Elizabeth Kimani, quality and standards manager of Sian roses, looked back at the visit of Sian Roses at FloraHolland. ‘We are now really able to visualize the handling process upon arrival of our products at the auction’ continues Elizabeth, ‘We understand the challenges regarding the quality and standards and how to improve our quality to meet the markets’ conditions’.

The five farms of Sian Roses represented in two ‘product & post harvest’ teams had a full programme during their ‘fieldtrip’. Many topics like feedback on daily or weekly reports and operational matters were discussed at FloraHolland Import. Both teams were accompanied by Ruben Basdew of FloraHolland Import Handling Naaldwijk.
The Sian delegations also visited FloraHolland Aalsmeer and observed their products during the ‘vase life tested’ programme at the FloraHolland Knowledge Centre Product Quality.

They were informed of the latest update regarding cool chain management with Verdict. ‘The discussions with several buyers were very fruitful. Visits to the flower displays in supermarkets and retailers gave us more ‘look and feel’ with the end-consumer in Europe. The quality of our products is good and consistent, but improvement is always possible’, concludes Mrs Kimani.

Source: FloraHolland

Which certifications meet the FFP standard?


One of the goals of FFP is to ensure that growers can serve their customers with a limited number of different certifications or better, with one standard. FFP therefore uses an umbrella label to show the efforts for B-to-B certifications under one name to consumers worldwide. This is possible if those B-to-B certifications are equal to the FFP standard and for a number of certification programs that now is the case. The schemes mentioned below coming from different countries meet the FFP standard in the social field:

  • MPS Socially Qualified (international)
  • Fiore Giusto (Italy)
  • Kenya Flower Council Silver Code of Practice (Kenya)
  • Forest Garden Products (Sri Lanka)
  • Control Union Fair Choice (international).

In the schedules above, environmental issues are also guaranteed. In terms of environmental standard, MPS-A is the level required for participation in FFP.
To compare the qualification in the other schemes with the MPS-A level we are developing a tool. We hope to tell you more about this shortly. At this moment however, for growers around the world with the above certifications it is possible to offer their products under Fair Flowers Fair Plants.

Meanwhile, the comparison with the FLP (Flower Label Program) schedule is made ​​and the advice is now sent to the FFP board. In addition, the organization Expoflores indicated their interest to have their certification program compared to the FFP standard and we are talking about the same with Global GAP. The positive developments will bring forward a growth in the number of producers participating in FFP because they meet the standard. This growing assortment of FFP cut flowers and plants is awaited eagerly by the international trade.

Autumn-like Weather in July

The last seven weeks were significantly better (+16%) in auction prices than the same weeks last year. Due to the fact last year those weeks were extremely hot, and prices were extremely low. Moreover, the autumn-like weather of the last weeks in Holland and in big parts of Europe resulted in less supply and more demand.

FloraHolland’s sales turnover in ‘period 7’ (weeks 15 through 28) was higher than the previous three years. Remarkable was the increase of +35% in imported roses supply, while the Dutch rose supply decreased with -13% in period 7, compared to the same period last year.

Source: FloraHolland

Slower Growth in Export Turnover

The export of floriculture products from The Netherlands at the end of the first half year 2011 was +2% higher than in the same period last year and accumulated to €2.9 billion. At the end of the first quarter the growth was still +5%. The second quarter was thus moderate. For the cut flowers the half-year escalation was only +1%, while the plants grew with +4%. These are the ‘bottom lines’ of the HBAG Bloemen en Planten (Agricultural Wholesale Board / Flowers and Plants) statistics.

The first two months of the year noted an export turnover increase of +20% compared to 2010. March was weak (-12%) due to extremely early warm spring weather and a long time gap between the Valentine’s Day / Woman Day and the Easter holiday. Also the consumers’ confidence in Europe was and still is quite low, thanks to the economical instability in some European countries. April was more or less equal to last year, whereas May and June were with around –1-2% lower.

The biggest export market, Germany, saw a regression of –3.2% at the first 6 months. Its market share was now 31.8% of the total export, i.e. a little less than in 2010, and a little more than in 2009. The other two big markets – UK and France – kept their market share and showed moderate growth rates.
Russia is the leading market in growth rate, with approx. +29% (+34% in cut flowers). The market share of East European markets is now 13.7%. In 2006 it was only 9%. At the same time, the market share of South Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece) decreased from 10% to just 8.2% market share at the middle of 2011.

The Dutch trade is facing the second half of 2011 with “cautious optimism”, says HBAG.

Sources: FloraHolland’s Marktonwikkeling perioode 7 + HBAG Bloemen en Plnten

Strengthening gender balance in agricultural programmes in Africa

It has long been established that in Africa, women work alongside men in the fields that provide nourishment and income for their families. Women make essential contributions to agriculture and rural economic activities in the African continent. The evidence is that, in Africa, more than 60% of women are directly involved in agricultural work, but very few gain access to information, training, inputs and markets.

ASM Communications will be hosting a conference on the 18-19 August 2011 at Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya on Strengthening Gender Balance in Agricultural Programmes in Africa. The participation fee has been subsidized to R4999 per delegate and register before the 10th of August. A panel of speakers from Kenya, Zambia South Africa and Uganda will address the delegates.

This conference will examine ways of involving and recognizing African women together with men, in agricultural development efforts as; farmers, farm workers and agricultural business entrepreneurs.

The conference will acknowledge the key role of women farmers in subsistence and commercial agriculture in Africa. It will further suggest ways of helping African farmers increase their agricultural productivity and the quality of their crops.


  • Find ways to help African farmers increase their yields and improve their crops.
  • Review current thinking about women’s roles in subsistence and commercial agriculture in Africa.
  • Strengthen attention to gender in various agricultural projects in the continent.
  • Strengthen African Farmers’ contribution to local, national and continental food security and agricultural and economic growth.
  • Ensure access to access to resources is more equal and that agricultural policies are gender-aware.
  • Promote a cooperative relationship between regional and continental agricultural networks of women in agriculture.
  • Redesign programmes to meet the needs of African farmers
  • Harness the potential of African women in Agricultural Research and Development.
  • Re-evaluate women’s role in alleviating poverty and creating jobs in the agricultural sector.
  • Increase African women’s access to land, farm inputs, credit and technology, while improving access to markets.
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