July Issue 1 2012

KFC Silver Standard Edition 9 to undergo Benchmarking Peer Review against Version 4.0.

The Kenya Flower Council Silver Standard Edition 9 is up for review for all GLOBALG.A.P members. Others include SwissGAP and ThaiGAP.  Their normative documents can be accessed by login the Benchmarking Extranet.

So far the above named schemes have finished the “Independent Technical Review” (ITR) and are now open for GLOBALG.A.P member review.

The GlobalG.A.P Benchmarking Administration is requesting members to review the normative documents and post any questions and or comments they would like to address in the “Discussion Section” of the Benchmarking Extranet.

To receive the documents per email and/or submit comments through email, please contact the Benchmarking Administration via benchmarking@globalgap.org. Any login problems or general question to this Peer Review are can be submitted via email.

The above mentioned schemes are open for discussion from 2nd July 2012 until 31 July 2012.

Note: in case no comments (or intentions of submission) are received within the first two weeks of the review period, the Peer Review of that Scheme will be closed and the procedure will go into the next step.

KFC attends a Lands Ministerial stakeholder’s forum

The Kenya Flower Council participated in a Lands Ministerial Stakeholders Forum held on 5th July 2012.  During the forum, the Ministry of Lands Permanent Secretary, Ms. Dorothy Angote, welcomed the Private Sector to involve her Ministry in their important forums as a way of opening up further interactions with the private sector.

The PS highlighted the fact that although the Ministry of Lands is the 2nd highest revenue earner for the Government (after Kenya revenue Authority), it is operating under a very constrained budget, hardly enough to implement the massive reforms envisaged in the new labour laws. She stressed the importance of the private sector giving every possible support, particularly in lobbying treasury to adequately fund the Ministry of Lands to enable proper service delivery to the private sector.

Further, the ministry and the private sector-through KEPSA will organize public and awareness campaigns aimed at sensitizing the public on the various aspects of the new labour laws.
KFC participates in the National Exporters’ forum 2012

The Kenya Flower Council participated in the National Exporters’ Forum 2012 held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), on Friday 29th June 2012. The event organized by Export Promotion Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Trade Associations was held under the patronage of His Excellency, Hon. Mwai Kibaki, CGH, M.P, as the Chief Guest.  KFC together with the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) mounted a stand during the form showcasing Kenyan flowers and vegetables.

This is an export sector annual event which has the objective of facilitating dialogue among the Public-Private sector export stakeholders. The Forum reviews Kenya’s export performance, through presentations, discussions and at the end; brings to the fore contemporary issues that impact on the export sector for consideration and implementation by the relevant organizations. The theme of this year’s forum was “Anchoring Kenya as an Export Driven Economy”

The president said over the years, Kenya has remained a net-importer of high value capital goods with a narrow export base comprising traditional exports which are mainly in raw form. Last year , exports were valued at 511 billion shillings against 1.3 trillion shillings worth of imports.  He stated that the situation needs to be reversed through value addition of local products in order to fetch more money in the international markets.

“Improving our export performance and raising productivity across all sectors of the economy, is the only sustainable strategy for securing long-term success for our export sector.” He added.

He added that Kenya is embracing an export-oriented growth strategy as a means to developing the economy and alleviating poverty. It is for the same reason that vision 2030 gives priority to the export trade as a key driver of the country’s economic development.

Indeed, under the Economic Pillar of the vision, specific flagship projects are being implemented to facilitate rapid development of export trade. These include:

  1. Attracting strategic investors to boost agro-based industries and increased exports, especially in new markets
  2. Strengthening SMEs to become the key industries of tomorrow by improving their productivity and innovation
  3. Boosting science, technology and innovation in the sector by increasing investment in research and development
  4. Development of industrial and manufacturing zones, and
  5. Development of SME Parks

The Export Promotion Council, in collaboration with relevant Ministries and Government Departments, have proposed a number of measures intended to boost development of the export sector. The measures include:

  1. Establishment of an Export Development Fund;
  2. Creation of Credit Guarantee Schemes to help reduce the high cost of credit to the business community, and
  3. Establishment of an endowment Fund for sustainable funding of Export Promotion activities by the Council, among other measures.

Flower Farmers in Kenya participates in a National Mechanism on Compliance workshop

The consultants spearheading the “Kenya Flower Industry – Capacity Building for sustained market access: a national mechanism for industry-wide compliance” project organized a stakeholders workshop on 26th June 2012 at Naivasha and Nairobi. This was a consultative process to identify a system or forum, where stakeholders’ can agree on and create an effective mechanism that guarantees due diligence by all growers and exporters.

Onkunya and Associates (EA) Ltd have been commissioned to carry out an evaluation of the Kenya Flower Council’s capacity to lead the project while Prof. Kamau Ngamau and team are validating the problem.

Despite a milliard of both public and private tools governing regulation of the cut flower industry in the realm of labour standards, protection and stewardship of natural resources, it is clear from consistent reports and concerns raised from various stakeholders, that more work on the robustness of implementation needs to be done.

This problem raises an opportunity to explore a more concerted initiative between the industry and regulatory bodies to improve business facilitation in order to sustain current markets, as well as penetrate new and emerging ones.

The following formed part of the discussions:

  • The level of compliance to the industry standards,
  • Challenges in compliance especially on areas relating to labour standards and the protection and stewardship of natural resources.
  • The appropriateness or otherwise of the proposed solutions.

Engagement with Commonwealth Of Independent Countries on Bilateral Cooperation Trade and Investment

Following a long standing desire to deepen the existing trade and investment opportunities with special attention being given on the critical growth inspiring enablers sectors under the Vision 2030 framework, the Ministry of Foreign affairs are proposing a high level engagement with the Commonwealth of Independent Countries on bilateral corporation trade and Investment in August 2012.

This follows an invitation extended to the ministry to attend and participate in the Moscow Diaspora Conference.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to expand the scope to include critical aspects of bilateral cooperation between Russian Federation, Commonwealth of Independent Countries (CIC) and Kenya.

Focus sector:

–          Agriculture and Agro-processing (bulk importation and distribution of fertilizers and agrochemicals and horticultural products).

–          Instrumentation, Calibration and airworthiness assessment of civil aviation equipment. There is an indication of undertaking initial assessment of the new Russian technology in civil aviation and exploring possibilities of granting approval to Russian cargo planes to operate in Kenya Airspace.

–          Flower Exports. For the last four years flower growers have managed to acquire a substantial market share of the Russian market.

In 2011, Kenyan’s export to Russia was valued at Kshs. 4, 515, 001,904 against imports from Russia valued at Kshs. 9,688,566,575. The balance of trade was Kshs. 5,173,564,671 in favor of Russia.

The proposed timelines of the execution of the tasks is August 2012 and it shouldn’t exceed four days. Participants will cater for their own travel and accommodation expenses.  Interested members who would want to be part of the delegation can contact Kenya Flower Council via kfc@wananchi.com.

Chief Justice Signs on the Charter for a Peaceful Elections and endorses Mkenya Daima!

The Mkenya Daima Steering Team held a meeting with the Chief Justice and his team to engage them and appraise them further on their role in the Mkenya Daima campaign. The campaign is a joint effort supported by the Faith Based Organizations, Civil Society and the Media and has now received support from the most University Student Leaders since its launch.  The phase one slogan; “Mwenye-nchi sio Mwana-nchi’ has resonated very well with the general public.

During his remarks, Mr. Vimal Shah, Chair of the Mkenya Daima Campaign pointed out that ‘Mkenya Daima’ and ‘Kenya kwanza’ campaign are now  merged and aligned in purpose to push ahead the agenda for peaceful elections and a prosperous Kenya thereafter.  As a sign of his personal commitment to the campaign, the Chief Justice and his team signed the Kenya Kwanza Campaign peace charter that states that, “……I pledge to join hands with like-minded Kenyans of all walks of life to promote value driven agendas that will help build a cohesive, inclusive and peaceful new Kenya; I will not be party to violence, intimidation, and any other such practices that may breach peace, and inhibit the attainment of harmonious relations between different clans, ethnic communities, races and religious groups in Kenya; among others”

The Chief Justice urged ‘Mkenya Daima’ team to visit the courts and sensitize the judges about the Campaign and what it aims to achieve and appealed for support from the Private Sector in spreading the message about the on-going judicial transformation.

The Mkenya Daima campaign rolled out its Phase II activities on July 4th

The Campaign was launched on 30th January 2012 spearheaded by KEPSA with a primary purpose of inspiring all Kenyans towards peaceful elections and a better Kenya for all.  Kenya Flower Council is a member of KEPSA.

Increasing Agricultural Input and Output Trade through Innovative MIS in Africa Workshop

International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has organized an international workshop on increasing agricultural input and output trade through innovative market information systems in Africa at  Nairobi, Kenya  on August 27-31, 2012. The workshop will be Co-Sponsored by The Eastern Africa Grain Council.

Registration

Program Fee (by July 27, 2012): US $1,300

Late Program Fee (after July 27, 2012): US $1,500

Who should attend?

All stakeholders interested in Market Information Systems (MIS), notably:

  • Public and private MIS managers, policy-makers and extension workers.
  • Agro-processors, agribusiness specialists and bankers, transporters and exporters.
  • Leaders of trade and producer organizations.
  • Researchers and all others who work on data management and agricultural trade-related programs.
  • Representatives of African Governments and Ministries involved in agriculture, trade, economic planning and policies and procurement, as well as international development agencies and NGOs supporting those sectors will find the program extremely useful.

For further information, please click here and read the detailed program description.

The summer has really arrived in Europe

It seems like the summer has really arrived in Europe. Indeed, prices in the auctions are higher than last year, and they did not drop sharply from the level of recent weeks, but slowing down of sales is already well felt. In some European countries temperatures were already quite high, and in some of them the summer holidays already started. Local grown flowers, mainly in Germany and Switzerland are finally in the market now, competing with the imported flowers.

Traders at the various markets have summarized the spring season. Most of them are satisfied, especially from the May results. Yet, not everybody is happy:

–           UK market was recently quite disappointing for the wholesalers and florists sectors.

–           Spanish market is continuously weak and slow, just like the general consumer goods market, affected by the deep financial crisis in this country.

–          Italy saw a reasonable market situation during the spring holidays; but sales were and are quite slow during the ‘normal’ days in between.

–          However, in most main markets sales were excellent, and all of them feel the slowing down during the last two weeks. Only in Eastern Europe and in Russia they still saw lively demand last week, thanks to the nice tradition to grant flowers to teachers at the last school day.

–           France experienced a “quite good” market during the last months.

–           Sweden and Norway are already in the summer holidays season; but until recent weeks the demand for flowers was very good. High prices did not harm the sales.

–          Germany and Switzerland had a period of optimal balance between demand and supply.

Dutch traders and FloraHolland’s market experts do not have high expectations from the coming weeks, even though the weather does not show signs of getting really hot. The summer vacations are coming, and we can only wait and see whether the optimistic assumptions of Kenyan growers would come to reality: some people believe that drawback in traveling, due to financial insecurity, would lead to more than usual demand for flowers during the summertime.

Sources: FH prijsinfo wk 25 + Prijzen bolbloemen FH wk 25 + ITC/MNS Bulletin June http://www.floraholland.com/en/AboutFloraHolland/Press/2012/Pages/Summerisarive.aspx

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