February Issue 1 2012

Primarosa Zuri appreciates its employees

Primarosa flowers Ltd (Zuri) held an employee appreciation ceremony on Wednesday January 18; 2012 to recognize the best workers for the year 2011.

The ceremony was graced by the District Commissioner for Nyandarua west Mr. Paul Famba, Chief of Kiwanja location Mr. Joseph Gachurea, Kanguu sub-location Mr. Peter Ndiritu,General Manager Mr. Santosh Karkarni,senior  managers and Primarosa Employees. The ceremony was held at the company premises.

The General Manager Mr. Santosh said that Primarosa Flowers Ltd regards the workers as the most important asset and as such, has started programs to boost worker’s morale.

Mr. Santosh added that the company will continue encouraging good business practices and will also be giving free lunch to all the workers. The farm is silver certified by KFC and also FLO. Through FLO the workers have benefited from premiums received for example by taking courses in computer, tailoring, salon, and driving.

The District Commissioner, Mr. Paul Famba, thanked the management of Primarosa flowers Ltd for starting the appreciation program adding that the recognition will boost the morale of the workers. He further acknowledge the contribution of Primarosa in  promoting the economy of the area by creating employment  for the locals, raising their standard of living, improvement of infrastructure, and reducing crime rate in the area.

The DC commended the management of opportunities Primarosa Flowers Ltd for allowing the workers to join trade union of their own. He advised the workers to use the union to solve whatever grievances they have and continue maintaining industrial peace.

Valentine’s Day 2012

The Nairobi Flower Vendors will display and sell their flowers in selected streets of Nairobi on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th February, 2012 during this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations. This comes after the Nairobi City Council through the Town Clerk Mr. Phillip Kisia allowed them do their business.  It follows similar and successful initiatives by the Kenya Flower Council over the same period in the last two years as part of Corporate Social Responsibility activities aimed at building on positive publicity pegged on small scale growers and Flower vendors

This initiative has contributed to the development and growth of the local flower market, promoting a culture for flowers consumption among Kenyans. It has created employment, diverse and sustainable livelihoods among the youth in Kenya.

The Chief Executive of KFC Mrs. Jane Ngige has thanked the Mr. Kisia for the support that the City Council of Nairobi continues to provide to the flower vendors in Nairobi.

Over and above, the Kenya Tourist Board in collaboration with the Kenya Flower Council will give out branded roses to ladies on 14th February 2012 as part of their promotions. This will go to branding Nairobi and Kenya at large as an internationally acknowledged lead country in the growing and exportation of cut flowers.

‘My Kenya’ Campaign raises Kshs 37 million in day one

Kenyans have been urged to own their destiny by maintaining peace before, during and after the upcoming general elections. This was said during the launch of ‘My Kenya’ Campaign on 30th January 2012 at Serena Hotel

Representatives from the private sector, civil society, faith-based organizations, media organizations and business leaders who spoke during the launch said there was need for Kenyans to channel their energy towards nation-building and elections are part of nation building. The Kenya Flower Council attended the launch.

The all-inclusive campaign themed, ‘My Kenya’ is meant to shape, inspire and challenge all Kenyans towards peaceful elections and prosperity. It aims to encourage and appeal to the Kenyan electorate to do whatever it takes to avoid a repeat of the post-election violence that was witnessed in 2007.

The campaign will also seek to change Kenyans mindset by inspiring them to ‘own’ the country.

Business leaders at the event noted that the launch of the campaign was timely as it will help to ensure peace, business continuity and economic development in the country, which can only be realized in a stable environment.

General Electric (GE) Global Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, endorsed the campaign saying many global investors are interested in investing in the country’s infrastructure, energy and gas but could only do so if there was a stable business environment. GE’s global boss is part of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and is also a member of The Business Council of America.

The business community alone lost over ksh10B during the violence not counting the cost of lives the country lost. The campaign will borrow a lot from lessons learnt by the private sector participation in pursuing an end to the post election violence in 2008 and the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ initiative in 2011.

During the launch, corporate companies pledged Kshs 37m in cash and in kind commitments included putting up of billboards with the message, branding of products, airtime, sms platform, advisory and audit services.

Although the campaign was inspired by KEPSA, its ownership is Kenyans and all sectors are involved in steering the campaign from the Civil Society, Media, Students, Musicians, Faith based, and every Kenyan of goodwill. This campaign will link up with all other campaigns whose goal is peaceful elections and prosperity for all Kenyans, such as Kenya Kwanza by National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

“There is need to restore hope and peaceful co-existence among Kenyans as majority of Kenyans already have the goodwill and do not want a repeat of the post election violence. We Kenyans are capable of doing better as a country and becoming the most competitive economy in Africa and beyond” said Carole Kariuki, KEPSA CEO.

We want Kenyans to have a spirit of I love ‘My Kenya’ and I will not destroy nor allow anyone to destroy it,” she added.

According to the steering team, the campaign will remain non-partisan to ensure sobriety and checks and balances among the political class and seek peaceful transition to whoever wins the elections.

The campaign will involve countrywide road shows, ‘town hall meetings” radio and TV activations and outdoor media.

All Kenyans were encouraged to come out again like they did during the ‘Kenyans for Kenya’ campaign and support this campaign but more so insist on peaceful elections and a peaceful transition of whoever is elected at every level.

KFC plans to participate in this process by partnering with Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) through workplace programmes to promote the agenda in the industry.

From IT to flower growing

Passion, a  term  often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject, idea, person, or object. A single word but one that carries a whole load of meaning and this is the word that Peter Murimi uses to explain why he chose the career he is in right now.

Let’s start from the beginning, question? What would make an IT diploma holder swap what promises to be a great career for the hardships and challenges that come with being a farmer and a flower farmer at that? If you said passion then you are right.

Deciding on this career path did not come on as a whim it took a lot of planning and especially research which not only gave him the perspective of how the business would be but also what to expect from the EU market. Horticulture being commercial and growing in terms of revenue also helped cement his decision to leave the IT sector and join the horticultural sector

Murimi is a member of Muiltigrow Group, a company owned by small scale growers of flowers from Njabini, Kinangop Nyandarua County. The group started three years ago, has 86 members who grow flowers in different parts of the country. They sell their flowers through floraHolland Auction. It’s one of the companies that underwent training and audits under the KFC – WWF Project on “Capacity building to promote responsible water use by Lake Naivasha Flower growers contributing to sustainable investment” were done using the reviewed KFC Small Scale Growers Code of Practice. The varieties which they grows include: Agapanthus, Eryngium, Scabiosa, Molucella, Craspedia, Mobydick, Nagera, Ornis and Calla Lilies

There are perks that come around in every business and as such, Murimi found out what they were and had an added advantage because the pieces of land he owned in the Kinangop region were very productive, availability of a hardworking labour force and nature was on his side as the area is blessed with good rains. He mainly grows Agapanthus, Eryngium, Bobywiliam, Craspedia and Ornis

All is not milk and honey as Peter has over the years discovered. The business of flower farming has its own share of challenges and in this case some of them include: transport, unreliable overseas agents and lack of cold facilities in the area, climate change for example the frost occurrence which needless to say ruined the flowers thus hampering production and profits. Though not on the higher side, there is also a problem of diseases that affect the flowers such as blackspot, lust and leafminor and this obviously causes a challenge to the farmers.

The farmers at the Kinangop area do not have their own water supply and as thus use gravity water from the Aberdeas which they say is charged to them quite fairly but are quite  apprehensive about the time they start getting metered water as this might prove to be a little on the higher side than they are used to.

Workshop on Pre-Export Verification and Conformity Standards (Pvoc) Services in Kenya

Kenya Bureau of Standards has recently appointed new Partners to conduct Pre-export Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) Services in Kenya.   It is a legal requirement to have goods covered under the PVoC program verified at country of origin prior to shipping. This helps in safeguarding the inputs coming into the country.

As part of its contribution towards creating an understanding and awareness of the importance of conformity verification of imported goods prior to shipping, SGS has organized a workshop to explain the changes in the PVoC program and also give an in-depth presentation on the process to be held on Friday, 10th February 2012, starting at 9.30 a.m. at the Red Court Hotel, Off Popo Road, South C.

Target attendees are MDs, Procurement & Logistics personnel.

PROGRAMME:

• Arrival & Registration of confirmed guests

• Presentation on the Changes in the PVOC Program

• PVOC Process

• Questions & Answers forum

PARTICIPATION: Strictly prior reservation must be done before the event to Vivian or Pauline on telephone 2727832/4/15, 0722-717771 or email vivian.kipingor@sgs.com.

Proposed Foreign Trade, Investment & Tourism Promotion Week In The Gulf Cooperation Council (Gcc) Member Countries

Following last year’s official visit to the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was tasked to coordinate a Foreign Trade, Investment and Tourism promotion event in the selected Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member Countries. The target countries are currently those that Kenya has diplomatic representation – Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Oman.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry is expected to provide framework, resource mapping and mobilization, and coordination of key public and private agencies whose collective input will positively contribute to increased trade, tourism, cultural and investment flows, from the entire GCC Member countries. The time line to prepare for the above and culminate to the envisaged week in January- March 2012. KEPSA of which Kenya Flower Council is a member,  is part of an inter-agencies team that is working on the preparations of this event.

WARNING ON RISING MOTOR VEHICLE FRAUD IN JAPAN

The Kenyan Mission in Tokyo Japan has issued attached advisory note on the existence of fraudsters in the used car export business from Japan.  This has been inundated by requests from many Kenyans seeking assistance to recover monies allegedly paid to unscrupulous Japanese Companies for the purchase of second hand motor vehicles.

In view of the above the mission advices that before buying a Motor vehicle online, kindly check from http://www.jumvea.or.jp/ if the online vendor is a legally registered business in Japan. Members of the Japan Used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association (JUMVEA) are legally registered & licensed Used Car Dealers are vetted for legality and credibility and are committed by Association values.

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, jointly with other government agencies, proposes to undertake a civic education exercise to sensitize the public on the need to be extra cautious before entering into any deals on car importation from Japan.

The Ministry has requested for input/comments into this proposal.  Kindly send your input for the attention of Anthony Weru by COB Friday, 10th February 2012 via aweru@kepsa.or.ke.

January was a good month for flower trade at FloraHolland

Calm weather, attractive exchange rates (for the Dutch) of the Euro versus the British, Russian and American currencies, together with lower supply to the flower auctions – made a positive start of the year’s flower trade at the Dutch auction FloraHolland.

Tulips and gerbera-mini were the exceptions of the good start of 2012. These products got low prices because of high supply. Most of the other products got better prices in 2011 than in 2010, especially chrysanthemums and hippeastrum/amaryllis unlike lower demand phenomenon that happens mostly in January.

The market is already geared to the approaching Valentine’s Day. FloraHolland initiates several events, dedicated to demonstrate the special assortment for the Valentine’s Day sales.

Source: Hortibiz

Blooming Business in Kenya

“Being from Holland – country of the flowers – I was more than a little surprised to read an article in UK magazine GEO about how flowers in Europe today come primarily from Kenya.” Marije a Guest editor says.

Kenya – and in particular the area around the shallow Lake Naivasha – is in fact the perfect location for flowers to grow, especially certain varieties of roses.

The climate around Lake Naivasha is outstanding for rose production due to the high light intensities around the equator, with 330 days of sunshine annually, and the altitude of 1.950 m, reduces the otherwise overly warm conditions and makes it a very pleasant climate for humans and roses.

Every single night planes leave Nairobi for Europe, with their holds full of flowers. The flowers are traded at auction in Dubai and Holland, and are eventually sold across Europe and the US.

Although – with an annual turnover of 400 million euros – flowers are the second largest foreign exchange earner for Kenya, the flower production is also subject to levels of constant critical awareness in order that the farming processes do not endanger Lake Naivasha’s unique ecosystems and habitats for wildlife.

Source: LadyLori > Written by Marije (Guest editor: UK)

EU highlights trade-led growth as central to modern development agenda

The European Commission has recently adopted a Communication on “Trade, Growth and Development”. A range of proposals to make trade and development instruments work hand-in-hand to ensure real poverty reduction across the world were presented by the European Commission with an aim to reinforcing the trade capacities of developing countries by making trade part of their development strategy. The EU identifies trade as one of the key drivers to support development, growth and helping lift people out of poverty. In order to effectively reduce poverty across the world, the EU wants to focus on those countries most in need. This will require a better differentiation between developing countries and emerging economies.

Furthermore, the EU called for all developed economies to match its significant levels of market access to developing countries.

European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht said “The rise of emerging economies like India, China and Brazil shows that trade-driven development is possible and that open markets can play a major role in generating growth. Yet those trailing behind need help. World tariffs have never been this low and the EU already offers very favourable market access to poor countries. What will make a difference are non-tariff issues – such as standards, services, intellectual property rights, public procurement, infrastructure and packaging facilities. None of this can work without political governance.”

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: “The integration of developing countries in global trade is a powerful lever for growth and the fight against poverty. It has helped to lift millions of people out of poverty in the last decade and will remain key to our development work.” He added: “We now need to make sure that our aid for trade focuses on those most in need even more – concentrating our support on our least developed partners, helping them to reinforce their capacities, and adapt their economies to be able to join the global and regional economy.”

The Commission proposes a number of ways to improve the effectiveness of EU trade and development policy including:

– reforming the EU’s preferential trade schemes to focus more on the poorest countries,

– stepping up negotiations on free trade agreements with our developing country partners. These must look beyond tariffs to tackle the real barriers to trade,

– increasing the use of EU instruments to promote foreign direct investment, including relevant provisions in free trade agreements to enhance legal certainty and combining EU grants with loans or risk capital to support the financial viability of strategic investments,

– facilitating developing country exporters, especially small operators, to enter the EU,

– assisting developing countries to improve their domestic business environment, meet international quality, labour and environmental standards and take better advantage of trade opportunities offered by open and integrated markets,

– using trade measures to help mitigate the effects of natural disasters and tackle conflict catalysts, including in mining activities.

It also calls on emerging economies to assume more responsibility for opening their markets to LDCs through preferential schemes but also on a non-discriminatory basis towards the rest of the WTO membership, of which four-fifths are developing countries.

For further information please log on to: Trade, Growth & Development.

Safety Culture

Luck runs out but safety is good for life
Safety is not a word, it’s a way of life
Safety makes and saves shillings and cents!
Sometimes, the engine for change doesn’t roar, it quietly seeps in.
Sometimes, a different approach is needed. “it’s like everyone is making auto parts and no one is talking about what car it is for or how it should be assembled”
If you lose your eyes, you lose touch with things; if you lose your hearing, you lose touch with people; if you lose your limbs, you lose touch with your strength; if you lose your life, you lose touch with the world.
Employees would never automatically protect themselves. For example, if you knew that the police were not on the road, the road was clear, and that your car was in excellent shape, would you obey the posted speed limit?

Understanding Safety Culture

“Safety Culture is that assembly of characteristics and attitudes in organizations and individuals which establishes that, as an overriding priority, safety issues receive the attention warranted by their significance”

In its manifestations, safety culture has two major components:

v  the framework determined by organizational policy and management action

v  The response of individuals in working within and benefiting by the framework.

The response of all those who strive for excellence in matters affecting safety is characterized by:

A questioning attitude + A rigorous and prudent approach + An effective Communication system =

The result will be a major contribution to SAFETY.

By: Leshan Taruru - Universal Work, Health and Safety Consultancy Ltd
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