March Issue 4 2012

IFTEX 2012 a success

The new IFTEX Expo 2012, organized by HPP Exhibitions an associate member of KFC was a success. The show brought together Growers, buyers, service and products providers in one venue at Oshwal Centre (Westlands) in Nairobi. The visitors were from Holland, Spain, Dubai, Iran, Qatar, Turkey, Russia, and Rwanda among others. The show was graced and officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture Hon. Dr. Sally Kosgei accompanied by the Agriculture Secretary Dr. Wilson Songa.

In her speech, the Minister thanked Mr. Dick Raamsdonk and HPP Exhibitions at large for the creation of the brilliant opportunity which is expected to expand the horizons and opportunities in the flower sector. The Minister said that in 2011 Kenya exported flowers worth US$ 560 million (Kshs 45 billion) representing 50% of the total horticultural exports which contributes 11% to the GDP of Kenya and employs 4.5 million people.

Dr. Kosgei said that the government is aware of the problems the industry is facing ranging from high freight charges,  rising fuel costs, lack of any subsidies and requested the stakeholders to work together to minimize impact on everyone involved. On EPA negotiations (especially about possible additional taxes) and also issues of VAT refunds the minister said the issues are receiving serious attention by the Government.

The Minister also acknowledged that most of the growers have put efforts to meet the standards required in terms of good agricultural practices, environment and social issues. She however asked growers who are not compliant to style up so that the blanket blames which is often leveled at the entire industry by some in parliament and internationally maybe stopped to give the industry a chance to thrive further.

She also assured breeders of government cooperation in resolving slow pace of registration of varieties, tax and defaulters problems.

The minister encouraged growers in collaboration with HCDA and KFC to be mounting a Kenyan pavilion in the International shows and exhibitions instead of individual stands to easily market the Kenyan Flowers.

Among the visitors were delegates from the EU who appreciating the magnitude of the flower industry ranging from the growers, suppliers, business development service providers. They were in the company of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Joost Reintjes, Jane Ngige CEO KFC among others. They visited exhibition stand Meilland, Finlays Horticulture, Kuhne and Nagel among others.

At the Kenya Flower Council stand number C305 participants visited to gather information and network. Other exhibitors with elegant stands included FloraHolland and Veiling Rhein-Maas,Bayer Crop Science Ltd,UFO supplies, Koppert Biological Systems Ltd, Elgon Kenya Ltd, Maridadi flowers, Sian Roses, P. J. Dave flowers, Mweiga Blooms, Mosi limited, Schreurs, Magana Flowers, Harvest Ltd, Hortlink, Deruiter , HCDA, Greenspan  among others.

A National Mechanism to Assure Industry-Wide Compliance officially launched

The Netherlands Embassy, in Kenya, in collaboration with the Kenya Flower Council officially launched, the “Kenya Flower Industry – Capacity Building for sustained market access: a national mechanism for industry-wide compliance” project, on 22nd March 2012 at Oshwal Centre, Westlands.

The main objective of the  project, financially supported by the Netherlands Embassy, is to support the Kenya Flower Industry sustain access to international markets, by developing and implementing a national system for industry-wide compliance with the existing regulations  in socio and  environmental accountability.   It will also address interventions against the impact of climate change, particularly in the development of good agriculture practices, carbon appropriation, green energy and responsible water use.  It will target growers, exporters, breeders and propagators.

The project will build on a 15% floriculture subsector growth which will be achieved under the sponsorship of the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy 2010-2020 (ASDS), where market shares have grown in key destinations. An envisaged 10% growth under Vision 2030 is well within reach. It is however imperative that gains already made are jealously protected from persistent negative perceptions both locally and internationally, especially around peak seasons.

In continued close collaboration with Government and other key stakeholders, the proposed project will strengthen self regulation towards realization of an effective and efficient industry wide assurance scheme of compliance with existing local and market driven regulations.

This initiative will not only provide a means of sustaining access to currently secured markets, but also boost the opening and penetration of new emerging destinations.

According to Jane Ngige, Chief Executive officer of Kenya Flower Council, there are a milliard of both public and private tools governing regulation of the industry in the realm of labour standards and use, protection and stewardship of natural resources.  She said that Persistent reports and concerns raised in the public space suggest that more work on the robustness and thorough implementation of regulatory systems needs to take root.  Currently compliance is not harmonious and does not capture all exporters.

Other participants included Mr. Hans Wolff Counsellor for Economy, Agriculture and Innovation Dutch Embassy, Silvester Botman of NLV, Dr. Alfred Serem Managing Director HCDA, Mrs. Gladys Maina Director Pest Control Products Board, Dr. Stephen Mbithi Chief Executive Officer FPEAK , Mr.  Inder Nain Director KFC, Mr. Ian Chesterman of Fintrac, Mr. Robert Ndetei WWF and KFC members among others.

Approach

–           A Project Steering Committee is in place chaired by Dr. James Onsando the Managing Director KEPHIS other Members of the committee include Mrs. Jane Ngige Chief Executive Officer KFC (Secretary, Mr. Hans Wolff Counsellor for Economy, Agriculture and Innovation       Dutch Embassy, Dr. Alfred Serem Managing Director HCDA, Mr. Pius Makhonge Director DOHSS,    Dr. Stephen Mbithi Chief Executive Officer      FPEAK  and Mr.  Inder Nain Director KFC

–           Validation of the stated problem

–           Assessment of the capacity of KFC to lead the project

–           Review  and update KS 1758

–           Through industry player deliberations, develop a mechanism for national compliance

–           Possible domicile – National Task Force on Horticulture

Expected output

–           Strengthened KFC

–           A relevant reviewed and updated KS 1758

–           a blueprint for the composition, functions, mandate and institutionalization of a national compliance vetting body.

–           Policies and implementation focused solely to deliver effective enforcement of an updated Code of Practice KS 1758.

–           KFC is enabled to further enhance its role as a responsible and diligent industry leader, balancing the long term interest of producers, workers, exporters and consumers for the benefit of a mature flower sector

–           An effective communication strategy developed

–           Effective engagement with Government in tandem with policy

IPM Fair Held In Essen Germany (24th – 27th January)

IPM Essen Germany 2012 was a success. The event dealing with floriculture is the central stage for, Worldwide Commerce in the Green sector.   The 30th IPM Essen was ceremoniously opened by the Federal Minister of Agriculture Hon. IIse Aigner who was full praises for the fair describing it as an information hub and an international marketplace which entices exhibitors and guests from all over the world.

From Kenya, the fair was attended by Hon. Dr. Sally Kosgei, Minister for Agriculture and from the Kenya Embassy in Germany, H.E. Ambassador Ken Osinde and the Commercial Attaché Mr. Oliver Konje also participated.

According to a report sent to the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) by the Kenya Embassy in Berlin, the event witnessed participation by a big number of exhibitors from all over the world such as Landesverband Schleswig-Holsten im Bund deutscher Baumschulen e.V., Agrostim Biotechnologieprodukte GmbH and Air So Pure among others.

The Fair’s theme was centered on four sectors which included plants, technology, floriculture and sales promotion. Numerous exhibitors took this opportunity availed to them to introduce their innovations, refined products and services to the trade visitors from all parts of the world.

IPM Essen not only provided a perfect platform for its exhibitors to showcase their products to the targeted buyers and increase their networking opportunities but also provided an opportunity for the Kenyan Embassy to counter negative publicities on Kenyan flowers. This was done through an interview with Ms.Claudia Brock of fair-trade, arranged for by BGI C.E.O Mr. Frank Zeiler. During the interview, the Embassy elaborated what Kenya Flower Council has done so far, which included Compliance through the KFC Code of Practice. Implementation of Good Agricultural Practices, sustainability, social accountability, hygiene health and safety, capacity building, Environmental Protection and Conservation were also emphasized. Other initiatives taking place in Naivasha area such as effective and efficient use of water, monitoring of quality of water, prevention of pollution of the environment and the ‘Imarisha Naivasha’ initiative project among many others were brought to their attention.

The Kenya Embassy in Berlin has given an assurance to continue to encourage interested investors in the flower industry to invest in Kenya and take advantage of the favourable business environment.  The embassy will soon organize a forum and a tour for indigenous Kenya Flower Growers to meet German Flower wholesalers.

It was also at this fair that the German Association of the Flower Wholesale and Import Trade BGI (which has a membership of 110, thus controlling the flower market in Germany) announced its appointment of Mr. Frank Zeiler as the new C.E.O of the Organization. Mr. Zeiler officially joined BGI on January 1, 2010.

Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2012

The NAIVASHA HORTICULTURAL FAIR 2012 will be held on Friday 14th  & Saturday 15th September 2012 at the Naivasha Sports Club.  The Horticultural Fair was started in 2002 to bring together exhibitors and visitors and is 100% Charitable.

All the money collected goes to local and national charities with a focus on, but not limited to, caring for woman and children.  Children homes, community clinics, HIV/AIDS projects, schools and hospitals all benefit, as well as small desperate case by case donations that make an enormous difference to people’s lives.

Germans spend more on flowers and plants

Last year, Germans spent 8.6 billion euro on flowers and plants. This comes down to an average of 105.3 euro per person. This is more than what they spent in 2010 and 2009. In 2010 the Germans bought 8.4 billion Euros worth of flowers and plants (average 104.3 million). A year earlier it was 8.64 billion (average 102 Euros).

However last year the Germans spent less on flowers and ornamental plants than in the peak year 2008, when they spent an average of 109 Euros.

A clear trend is that Germans buy more flowering plants, which is at the expense of cut flowers. This trend has been visible for ten years. Germans buy flowering plants as a gift and for own use.

Source: Hortibiz

Celebrating life with flowers: the hidden meaning

We will analyze these week’s babies by revealing the hidden meaning of their birth month flowers as favored during the Victorian era.

July babies are fun to be with especially if they are tensed or excited since they tend to blubber a lot and are no longer the quite people they usually are. The thing about these babies is that they tend to be moody and get easily hurt but to a person who is friends or related to a July baby knows how these babies are the easily consolable type. They are always brooding about the past and old friends (which is quite adorable of them) and are the type to wait for a friend for hours at the designated meeting point which makes them the most ideal friends for some of us authentic Kenyans who really have no concept of time. These babies, it has been intimated are prone to having stomach and dieting problems, I however do not know how true this is. It is for this reason that these great babies’ birth flower is the Larkspur. The Larkspur symbolizes an open heart and ardent attachment. The hidden meaning? “You’re the Only One”

The August birth month flower is the Gladiolus, the hidden message of this Birth Flower, so favored during the Victorian era was “Love at first sight”. The flower is just perfect for the August baby as these babies tend to be physically attractive and coupled by the fact that they are known to be romantic, who can resist falling for them at first sight? They love to joke and therefore find it quite easy to make friends which serves to make them all the more desirable because they are loving, caring and know how to console others. These babies love to dream and as a result are talented in the arts, music and defense. They cannot have it all though and because they are human they tend to have poor resistance against illnesses, I guess their talent in defense does not extend to their immune system. The meaning of the August Birth Flower, the Gladiolus is sincerity and symbolizes strength of character and this fits these babies quite well wouldn’t you say?

These babies are as unique as they come. They are kind, sympathetic, fun to be around, understanding, clever and knowledgeable which can be attributed to the fact that these babies love to look for information. For some reason which I equate to the fact that they may be Claustrophobic these babies love wide things and spaces. Perfect as they may seem these babies too have their flaws and one of them is being choosy especially in relationships but who can blame them? Their birth month flower is the Aster whose hidden meaning during the Victorian era was “Take care of yourself for me”. With this kind of meaning behind their birth flower I think they can afford to be choosy. The Aster symbolizes Love, Faith, Wisdom and symbolizes Valor.

Till next time when we finally conclude on our birth month flower issue I leave you with these words from Lydia Maria Child: Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.

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