Floriculture stakeholders’ workshop
Despite a myriad 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 was to be done.
Onkunya and Associates (EA) Ltd and Professor Kamau Ngamau & Team were recently commissioned by the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) to carry out an evaluation of the KFC’s capacity to lead the “Kenya Flower Industry ‐ Capacity Building for sustained market access: a national mechanism for industry‐wide compliance” project.
The project, funded by the Dutch Government is aimed at supporting the Kenya flower industry in assuring sustained access to international markets, by developing and implementing a National system for industry-wide compliance with the existing regulatory framework for sustainable production.
Towards this end, a workshop for the flower industry stakeholders has been organized to discuss the consultants findings and to propose practical solutions for the industry at a national level. It is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 23rd August 2012, at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi at 8.15 am.
The agenda for the meeting will be:
i. Crafting / designing an all‐inclusive mechanism for industry wide compliance
ii. How to make such a mechanism useful to industry
iii. Building synergies in the industry
Confirm attendance to email@example.com.
The 13th Negotiations session of the Technical Officials of the East African Community (EAC) Partner States and the European Union (EU) took place in Brussels, Belgium from the 9th – 13th July 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to pursue negotiations under the EPA negotiations following the 12th Negotiation Session of the Technical Officials held in Mombasa Kenya on 8th to 12th May 2012.
The following are some of the notable developments;
– Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development: EU proposes that ‘Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development’ be negotiated in the current negotiations. EAC maintains that this is a trade related issue and should be negotiated at a later stage with other Trade-Related issues.
– EU Proposal to Reformat the EAC Market Access Offer Tables: The EU expressed its concerns regarding the difficulties the current format of the market access offer could pose at the implementation stage. In this respect the EU presented a proposal of reformatting the EAC Market Access Tables.
The EAC considered this proposal and observed that it could lead to some products being moved from one annex to another, which affects the level of liberalization/exclusion undertaken by the EAC. The EAC also observed that revising product descriptions may not be necessary since the Agreement already provides for classification of goods using the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding system (HS), and such reviews are regularly undertaken under the World Customs Organization.
– Agriculture: The partied discussed in the depth text in Articles 2 (6), 13A and 13B relating to domestic support and export subsidies. The EAC underlined their concerns of the negative impacts of EU domestic support on trade and agriculture production in the EAC region. The EU underlined the non-distortive nature of the CAP following many years of reform. The EU reiterated that these policy issues should be addressed under the WTO framework.
The parties agreed on the Article 19 on Geographical Indications (GIs) and origin-linked products. They agreed that the areas of cooperation with financial implications under GIs and origin linked products be transferred to the Economic and Development Cooperation Chapter.
– Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development: The EAC informed the EU that it was undertaking consultations on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development with a view to engage the EU on the negotiations at a later stage along with other trade related issues.
New Issues Introduced by the EU:
– Good Governance in the Tax Area: The EU made a presentation on the revised text on the issue pointing out that the title of the text has been revised to ‘Cooperation in the Tax Area” as well as incorporating the key principles namely: Transparency, Effective exchange of information and Fair tax competition. EAC informed the EU that it is undertaking internal consultations and thus it could not yet provide comments.
The EAC delegation was led by Mr. Peter Mwaniki, Chair of the EAC EPA Experts while the EU delegation was led by Mr. Athanassios Rammos from EC, DG Trade.
The senior officials are scheduled to meet in mid-October 2012 in the EAC region. The meeting shall be confirmed in the light of the ad hoc discussions at technical level. The technical meeting of Rules of origin and Institutional Arrangements, Dispute Settlement and Final Provisions is agreed to take place in the week of 17th to 21st September 2012 in Brussels.
From a stakeholders briefing meeting held on 10th August 2012, two further meetings were proposed; On 20th August 2012 to further consult on Rules of origin and Good governance in the tax area and on 21st August 2012 to consult further on Fisheries issues. The KFC’s Friday Notice Board EPA watch will definitely keep you posted on further developments.
Flower sector stakeholders forum by NEMA
The National Environment management Authority NEMA organizing a forum for the flower sector to respond to issues touching the industry. The forum is scheduled to take place on 20th September 2012 at Nakuru. The venue will be communicated later.
The Authority has prepared responses to the issues raised by stakeholders from the flower sector where they intend to present them under the Intensive Chemical Agriculture.
More details about the forum will be communicated.
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Training
Millennium Management Consultants (MMC) an associate member of the Kenya flower Council have organized a two day training on Environmental Management Systems (EMS) scheduled to take place from 6th –th September 2012 at Bounty Hotel, Mukoma Road, South B, Nairobi.
EMS internal audits topics:
- Introduction to ISO 14001 standards;
- Introduction to EMS Audits
- EMS Audit Approach and Planning;
- Performing the EMS Audit
- Reporting of EMS CAR’s and taking Corrective Actions
- Use of EMS Checklists
- Reporting the Integrated Management System Audit
- Follow-Up of the Audit
- Brief on EMS certification auditing process
- Certification of EMS Internal Auditors
MMC ‘S SERVICE COST AND IMPLICATIONS
- MMC will charge Aquila Kenya Shillings 16,000.00 (Sixteen Thousand) for the provision of Farm EMS Internal auditing awareness training services per pax .
- Charges are exclusive of accommodation, meals, water, etc for the participants and the training hall/site.
- Charges are exclusive of VAT and any other Government tax where applicable.
- Full payment after the training and report /certificate issuance as applicable.
For further information / clarification contact MMC.
Tel: + 254 – 20 -652374/652375/557055; Cell: + 254 721 687406/0722681796
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Embracing technology…….products for the flower sector
The flower management system (FLORISYS)
This is software is specifically designed for the Floriculture industry with an objective to help farms save up to 90% in input costs and time like in man hours and overhead costs.
The Farm Management System
Its main objective is to help managers know to the last detail the cost of inputs per variety, length and stem, to determine most profitable variety, length and stems on a day to day basis.
The Tally and Readymade Tally TCP’S
These can be customized to a farm’s specifications e.g. reports, security levels, etc.
The Document Management system (D.M.S.)
Current Business trends have forced organizations to deal in a lot of paper work that are extremely necessary and of very high importance. More often documents stand the risk of being damaged, lost, altered and take up a lot of office space i.e. space used for files or filing cabinets.
The D.M.S. provides space for scanned documents stored in a data base that is automatically backed up in a secondary location. This ensures the information is stored securely and can be retrieved at a touch of a button. It has other controls that can restrict access, editing, or deleting of documents depending on clearance levels.
Other softwares include:
ü Payroll customized for East Africa
ü Point Of Sale software (P.O.S.)
ü Inventory and warehouse software’s,
ü Web base Data base applications
ü Web site Designing
Ethiopia to increase cargo freights
The Ethiopian Government plans to increase its cargo flights and destinations for its three main horticultural products; flowers, vegetables and fruits. Haileselassie Tekie, the Director General of the Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency (EHDA) said it is a good arrangement as it will help exporters manage the cost of transportation.
The government is subsidizing a cargo facility and helping Ethiopian Airlines with the project. This move comes when Ethiopian flower exporters were contemplating the idea of directly accessing the Russian flower market. Exporters say since Ethiopian Airlines does not have flights to Moscow, it was unable to access the Russian flower market which it says, has a big potential. Some business people told The Reporter that Ethiopians export their flower to Netherlands, and the Netherlanders export it to Russian with Netherland’s tag.
“If Ethiopian opens a cargo flight to Moscow, we can directly access the Russian flower market,” the exporters said. According to information obtained from the Public Relations Department of Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian has a plan to deploy the Boeing 777 freighter aircraft for carriage of Flowers, fruits and vegetables, with a capacity of 105 tons. Ethiopian Airlines had previously deployed Boeing 747 aircraft for the transport of horticultural exports although the actual number of flights depended on the volume of products available for export at a given time. The airline currently runs 10 to 14 flights a week on average.
“Very recently we have been working on deploying additional Boeing 777 cargo flights which will be fully engaged in the transportation of horticultural goods to the international market,” said Haileselassie. Preparations are also underway to undertake horticulture development in areas located in Bahir Dar, Debre-Berhan, Gondar, Mekelle and Raya localities. The identified lands are in the five development corridors across the country proposed by the Ethiopian government and are expected to create linkages with local out growers and commercial farms.