March Isssue 1 2012

Proposed de-briefing visit by Lone Riisgaard and Peter Gibbon-evaluation on links between business developments and social welfare improvements in the Kenyan cut Flower industry

KFC is organizing a seminar where members will be briefed on the findings that Researcher Lone Riisgaard and Peter Gibborn carried out last year in different flower farms from Naivasha, Nairobi, Nanyuki and Thika on the Evaluation on links between business development and social welfare improvements in the Kenyan cut Flower industry.

The seminar will take place in 3 different locations as follows:

  • Thika Blue Post Hotel on 6th March 2012
  • Naivasha Fish Eagle inn on 7th March 2012
  • Nairobi Lenana Conference Hse Lavington on 8th March 2012

In this regard we are inviting your Hr Managers and Production Managers to the seminar at the place of convenience to them. Kindly revert indicating who will attend from your farm and in which date as is convenient to you to .

The Mark of Identity And CSR Workshop

The Kenya Flower Council attended a workshop organized by the Brand Kenya Board (BKB) in collaboration with KICI Foundation of Netherlands with an aim of enlightening producers and exporters of Kenyan products on the Mark of Identity and the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) especially from a European (the target market) perspective. The workshop was held on the 23rd and 24th February, 2012 At Morendat in Naivasha.

BKB is a state corporation that was established in 2008. The Boards mandate is to ensure that an integrated national brand is created, harnessed and sustained in the long term. Pursuant to this mandate, the Board established the Mark of Identity program whose aim is to promote the competitiveness of Kenya’s products and services both within the Country and abroad.

The Mark of Identity

Companies can now start using the Kenya Logo in their business cards, Letter heads. Etc


National Identity Application on Products

The national identification mark can be used on products as below depending with the colour of the packaging material.

Key CSR Drivers in Kenya

  • Social-economic priorities- CSR is shaped by the socio economic environment in which companies operate
  • Governance Gaps- Where gaps exist in the provision of key social services such as roads, healthcare, electricity; the private sector has stepped in to fill these gaps.
  • Crisis Response- Has often elicited CSR responses mostly through philanthropy e.g. Kenyan’s for Kenya Initiative.
  • Market access- As a result of globalization companies in the region are seeking newer markets in the developed world where standards are higher
  • Stakeholder Activism-in the absence of strong governmental controls over social, economic and environmental performance of companies. Trade unions, media, NGO’s have been active in holding companies accountable.

Overview of CSR in Kenya

  • When companies talk about CSR they often mean community engagement
  • The general perception about CSR is that it is “charity to the needy” or “giving back to society
  • The main rationale why companies get involved in CSR is “to improve the image of the company”.
  • Others include corporate sustainability, adherence to mission statement or CSR policy

Future of CSR in Kenya

  • Consumers are increasingly becoming activists with their purchasing decisions
  • Voluntarism through self-regulations seems to be failing leading to government legislation
  • Employee wellbeing is no longer a fringe issue but a core concern of stakeholders
  • Poverty and climate change are becoming major issues that the private sector cannot ignore
  • The physical environment will remain an integral concern for all companies including SMEs
  • CSR will become a more formalized part of business strategy and a source of competitive advantage

The London chambers of commerce & Industry and North West Trade Mission

The UK Trade & investment (UKTI) team in Nairobi are expecting 2 trade missions, the London chambers of commerce & Industry and North West, from 19th to 21st March. Listed below Is a brief profile on each of the visiting companies. Those interested in meeting the companies can send a request to by Wednesday, 14th March 2012.

  1. I.            BLACKBURN COLLEGE: , – Blackburn College has been providing education for over 120 years and is one of the largest colleges with a University Center in the Country.
  2. II.            BOURNE INTERNATIONAL LTD:, – Bourne International is a specialist exporter of corporate gifts and promotional product.
  3. III.            EAGLE SCIENTIFIC LTD:, – International project contractors, PROACTIVE CONSULTANCY SERVICES LTD: – firm of business, tax and accountancy advice focusing on East African/ Indian businesses to help set up, establish and expand in the UK.
  4. IV. OSANIMU 3D BRANDING AND PACKAGING DESIGN: , – product packaging design and strategy consultancy.
  5. V.            SCOTTISH TRADE INTERNATIONAL (SDI): – As the Economic Development Agency of Scotland, SDI are looking to identify the opportunities for Scottish companies in Kenya to find private companies and local partners to work with.
  6. VI. STEPHEN KALEMA ASSOCIATES (SKA), – provides management consultancy services, organizational reviews, business advice, capacity building, fundraising, management systems design, policy formulation and governance.
  7. VII.            THE AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE (AACBE), , – lympic Games, attracting high profile business leaders, investors and dignitaries from around the world with an interest in Africa and the Caribbean. They are interested in meeting with businesses of all sizes who want to sponsor the Expo or exhibit at the Expo.
  8. VIII.            TUDOR EXPORT LTD,,
  9. IX.            V2 ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD– V2 was set up as a property investment and management company in August 2007 to meet the specific needs of existing clients.
  10. X.            CAR TRANSPLANTS LTD,, – The company stocks repossessed cars, vans, car spare parts, plant equipments, generators.
  11. XI.            DUMELOW INTERNATIONAL LTD,, – The company specializes in the renovation and export of used agricultural tractors and machinery. They concentrate on Massey Ferguson tractors but can supply other makes.
  12. XII.            JOHNSON SECURITY,, – specialized in vehicles, cash-in-transit vehicles, Cash Transfer Units, Access Control Doors, Cross Pavement Solutions.
  13. XIII.            NORBAIN SD LTD, – Norbain SD is one of Europe’s most successful distributors of CCTV, IP video, Access Control and Intruder Detection equipment.
  14. LYNDON CAPITAL, Lyndon Capital is building a low-cost, green technology housing community in Kenya.
  15. XV. MGC LAMPS LTD, – MGC Lamps Ltd are manufacturers of LED lighting and global distributors of all variants of specialist lighting, covering cinema, medical, LED, purification and entertainment sectors.
  16. XVI. MOUNT LABORATORIES UK LTD,, – They are suppliers of Laboratory equipment and chemicals.
  17. NORKEM LTD,, – chemical distributor selling in 54 countries worldwide.
  18. SYNERGICT CONNECT LTD,, – power protection company working in two key market areas: in the provision of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) solutions to ICT sector and in the provision of renewable solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions for sustainable energy generation in both domestic and commercial sectors.
  19. XIX.            THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC,, – It is a database product that manages samples and results related to analytical testing.

International Flower Exhibition (IFTEX)

The world’s flower fraternity will for the first time meet in Nairobi next month for the International Flower Exhibition (IFTEX) that will bring together producers and buyers under one roof. According to the organizer, Dick Raamsdonk, the president of HPP of Netherlands,, the show will herald what promises to be the world’s largest showcase of flowers in the coming years. The show will be held every two years.

“Kenya is the world’s largest supplier of cut flowers therefore the country should be home to an equally big exhibition”, Mr Raamsdonk said last week.

He explained that for the first time in the history of the country’s flower industry, buyers from overseas will come face to face with the flowers in the country where they are produced. “Many of the buyers get the flowers after they have arrived in Europe, but we deemed it necessary they visit the source”, he said.

The organizers are giving flower growers free exhibition space at the Oshwal Centre, Westlands/Parklands and by this week, more than 125 companies had confirmed participation. Flower growers, suppliers of inputs and services, supermarkets, auctions among others are expected to attend the show, already rated fifth among the world’s leading flower exhibitions before it makes its debut.

Mr Raamsdonk says the massive interest in the inaugural show attests to Kenya’s supremacy in the global flower market place that is unmatched.

Kenya Flower Council chief executive officer, Jane Ngige, said she was excited about the development. “We have participated in many world class flower exhibitions in Europe, Asia, the US and South America, and it will be a great honour for us to hold a fair of this magnitude, that  can only be equivalent of such shows staged in Netherlands, Amsterdam, New York and Equador. Apart from Equador, which together with Kenya are main producers, the other countries are mainly buyers,” she said.

Mr Raamsdonk says that although the shows in these countries are more advanced since they have been staged for years,  Kenya’s will eventually become bigger than all of them because the country is the epicenter of the global flower production. “Kenya supplies 55 per cent of the flowers sold at the Netherland’s auctions, and 40 per cent of the produce in the EU placing it in a unique market position’, said Mr Raamsdonk.

The development comes at a time when there is more focus to produce flowers in Africa due to escalating production costs in Europe and America due to high labour, land and energy costs in those countries. According to Mrs Ngige, South America has seen its production plummet, leaving Eastern Africa as the major source of flowers, and this trend is expected to continue. Kenya, she added has assumed the role of training the continent on the fundamentals of flower production given its advanced technology and supply chain development, and the show will solidify this position.

The flower industry in Kenya is a key foreign exchange earner, whose earnings last year stood at Ksh 44 billion up from Ksh 36 billion in 2010. The positive growth is largely attributed to a favorable exchange rate and increasing demand. The sector employs an estimated 500,000 people directly and indirectly.


Kenyans develop a production system for Amblyseius

Researchers from Real IPM in Thika, Kenya have developed a new low cost system of production for N. californicus based on the prey mite Tyrophagus tropicus. This will in future help to deliver economic solutions to growers.

Two spotted (red spider) mite has successfully been controlled biologically using a range of predators for many years. N. californicus has been widely used for two spotted mite control, however there remains a need to develop low cost production methods to enable sufficient predator numbers to be used at a reasonable cost by the grower.

Source: hortibiz

FloraHolland prepares new quality policy

The Dutch flower auction FloraHolland is considering and preparing some changes in its ‘rules of the game’ for the quality policy in the auctions. The background is dissatisfaction from the current situation, as expressed by buyers and suppliers.

The quality control procedures are still working according to the principles that were developed back in the seventies of the previous century, with some modifications of the recent years, like the Reliability Index. However, it seems like the current ‘rules’ do not properly serve the current needs:

  • There is not enough distinction between the various qualities (90% of the flowers are auctioned under the quality grade A1).
  • The random quality control does not cover the whole assortment, and creates uncertainty about the responsibility for the reliability.
  • Reliable information became very important to buyers who use this information for their own Web shops.
    The handling of re-control (buyer’s claims) is not efficient.
  • The product’s image is not always really representative.

On the ground of those remarks, the department of Auctioning and Quality is working on new ‘rules of the game’ that would put full responsibility on the quality and the data reliability on the producer, and would enable the grower to distinct his/her product quality, and even to grant ‘producer guarantee’ on quality and vase life (and by this to add value to the product).
Implementing such goals requires, of course, developing of new quality grades, special quality labels, and ‘producer guarantee’ labels and procedures.
These changes are supposed to strengthen the clock system as a reliable source for wide assortment of products and qualities.

The detailed plan is not yet concluded. There were discussions with some FPC members, and with a number of buyers. Traders were positive. Growers were positive too, but raised many questions about the implementation.
The discussion will continue, with a target to start a pilot at the second quarter of this year, with one groep of cut flowers and one group of plants. Based on the experience of the pilot, and with consultation with stakeholders and advisors – the final model will be concluded.

Source: hortibiz

What was said where you are

You’ll be pleased to know that the coverage on Valentine’s Day this year was far more positive than in 2011.  While still mentioning problems, the emphasis this year was not on boycotting flowers but on ethical consumerism and the options people have to buy ‘fair trade’ flowers. This is according to Union Fleur.

The quote below sums it up:

“Remember — women working in the flower industry need their jobs, so boycotting their flowers entirely isn’t the solution. Support the labels that provide fairer labor standards, choose your flowers wisely, and tell others to do the same.” – Huffington Post, 13/02/2012.

Below you will find links to articles from various sources and countries to give you a flavour of the coverage this year.



BGI press release:



VGB press release:



United States:


The ad played during the US Superbowl which has got people talking:

Less flower exporters in the Netherlands

The increase of 2% of the export value of flowers and plants from the Netherlands to € 5.2 billion achieved last year by 5% fewer wholesalers. This was published by the Wholesale Horticultural Products HBAG Flowers and Plants in Aalsmeer. “The scale that is taking shape for years, set by” concludes HBAG.

In 2008 there were still 857 active exporters, over 801 in 2009, and 765 in 2010. The number shrank last year by -5% to 724.
This is a decrease of -16% in 3 years, while the turnover value increased. “Scale is an obvious trend” says Tom Bijleveld of HBAG Flowers and Plants. The average annual turnover per exporter was € 7.2 million, while it was just € 6.2 in 2008.

Fourty companies, just 5.5% of the total number of exporters, are responsible for 50% of the export turnover in 2011. The number of export companies with a turnover above € 40 million increased from 24 to 28 in the last four years. “The mix of large and small companies is a strong point of the Dutch wholesale” said Tom Bijleveld, “So all market segments, from discounters to specialty in the highest segment, enjoy optimum service”, he explains. Of the 724 active exporters, still 541 were companies with annual business turnover of less than € 5 million.

Source: HBAG / FloraHolland> hortibiz

Africa Carbon Forum 2012
April 18-20, 2012, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The 4th Africa Carbon Forum is a trade fair and knowledge sharing platform for carbon investments in Africa. It brings together representatives from Designated National Authorities, national focal points, and representatives from United Nations agencies, the World Bank, governments, and the private sector. It is the prime forum for transfer of know-how and exchange of experiences between project developers who have successfully implemented CDM projects in Africa and elsewhere, and those who are starting to develop their own projects on the continent.

For more information and to apply, please visit: Link

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