Florists pass message of peace on Valentine’s Day
The Flower Vendors Associations in collaboration with the Kenya Flower Council joined forces to send a message of peace to Kenyans as the country prepares for next month’s elections during this year’s Valentine’s Day.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) where KFC is a Member supported the initiative by providing the peace message stickers of ‘ Mkenya Daima ‘ which were distributed by KFC to the flower vendors/florist in Nairobi. The vendors responded overwhelmingly with an aim of avoiding a repeat of the violence that erupted after the 2007 general elections.
The KFC requested the City Council to allow the flower vendors to put up temporary tents in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) and some areas out of town on 12th, 13th and 14th which they gladly did. The KFC Chief Executive Officer Jane Ngige thanked the town Clerk Tom Odongo for heeding to their request adding that this initiative will help boost the culture of consumption of flowers locally.
By: Winnie Muya – KFC Communication Officer
Oserian present flowers to their employees
Oserian Development Company a member of the Kenya Flower Council presented red roses to about 1500 female employees in their farm to celebrate this year Valentine’s Day. The workers also carried home a package of sugar and maize flour.
Addressing the workers, Ludovick Kezzah the Head of Division – Human Resource at Oserian said the flowers should symbolize peace and love. “This being an election period, it’s important we stay peaceful and should not forget that after 4th we need our jobs and country. We should vote and stay peaceful, “he added.
Naivasha is a cosmopolitan region and within oserian there are 32 religious groups and each has a representative where they meet and pass the message to the other members on peaceful coexistence. They also have a council of elders where all the communities are represented. They also hold meetings and pass messages of peace.
By: Winnie Muya – KFC Communication Officer
Austrian investors show keen interest in Kenya
Austria is now keen to bolster its presence in the region. The EU member state has established a trade office at its Nairobi embassy to help Austrian investors set up shop in Kenya and the EAC bloc. The will also serve as an entry point to the larger Eastern Africa market, making Kenya the regional hub.
The Business Daily spoke to Austria’s Deputy Head of Mission Katharina Rauscher who outlined the country’s trade, cultural and bilateral relations with Kenya.
What is the status of trade between Kenya and Austria?
Fresh cut flowers are the main import product from Kenya. Other import items include fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea.
The total value of Kenyan exports to Austria has more than doubled from Kshs 467.6 million in 2010 to Kshs 965.7 million in 2011. In the first 10 months of last year, Kenya exported goods worth Kshs 737.6 million to Austria.
Major Austrian exports to Kenya are machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and related products, beverages and tobacco, etc. Austria also supplies KTM motorcycles used in Kenya’s motocross championships. Energy drink Red Bull is made in Austria.
Austria’s exports to Kenya have also grown twofold from Kshs 1.2 billion in 2010 to Kshs 2.3 billion in 2011.
Source: Business Daily.
HPP exhibitions to hold a meeting in Nairobi
HPP exhibitions will hold a meeting about this year’s five trade fairs in New York, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Moscow and Vijfhuizen, on Tuesday February 19 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm at the Jacaranda hotel in Westlands.
The fairs in New York and Ethiopia are approaching fast and growers, who still want to exhibit, can participate in the HCDA pavilion in New York. For the trade fair in Nairobi scheduled for June, all those that have not signed up, can reserve a stand during the meeting.
For any questions or an individual meeting kindly can call Dick on 18th and 19th February on local mobile: 0715-176-928 or +31-6-53-75-1018. Email: email@example.com.
Update on EAC-EU EPA
From 5th to 7th February 2013, a senior EU delegation lead by Peter Thompson, Director DG Trade, and Chief Negotiator of EPA’s met in Mombasa with representatives of the EAC. Being a senior meeting it was anticipated that matters of policy would be resolved and answers to technical issues from the previous meeting in November would be forthcoming from the EAC group. Unfortunately this was not the case. Considerable time was spent going over old ground on technical issues and the lack of urgency is frustrating and worrying on the part of EAC
- However, despite the slow start it appears that progress was made and in a meeting of private sector representatives and civil society in Nairobi on Friday 8 February, Peter Thompson reported that whilst member states differed slightly there is political will at senior level to finalize the EPA, although Tanzania has always been the reluctant partner. Market access does not appear to be an issue for Tanzania they are simply more cautious on every aspect of the EPA.
Peter Thompson reported:
- The chapter on economic cooperation and development was finalised and signed off.
- The chapter on agriculture was verbally agreed apart from the issue of export taxes
- Good progress was made on the issue of Rules of Origin but the chapter was not closed. This is a technical matter and needs more work.
- The chapter on institutional provisions was evidently previously misunderstood but following the recent round in Mombasa it’s now more clearly communicated.
- The EAC has no interest in the chapter on sustainable development introduced by the EU about 3 years ago.
- It is provisionally planned to hold a further technical round in Brussels in May 2013 and if the outstanding issues are cleared it will be followed by a senior meeting in Brussels in June or July 2013.
Netherlands: Higher flower prices for Valentine’s Day
Flower prices in the Netherlands for Valentine’s Day were higher than in 2012 and 2011. This was reported by the Dutch organization of exporters VGB. The VGB also noticed that in Russia, the ‘day of love’ is getting more important.
Dutch exporters were satisfied about the sales for Valentine’s Day, waiting for a confirmation whether it was a total success also for the florists. it was snowing in the west part of Europe (the Netherlands, Belgium and north of France), but cities like Berlin and Moscow experienced dry weather.
While the red rose is the traditional Valentine gift, other flowers are getting more popular, like tulips. Unlike last year, the weather did not harm the transport to Germany in the first half of February. On the other hand, in the beginning of the week, the export to the south of Europe was going down, due to heavy snow especially in Italy. Fortunately most flowers had reached their destination already.
The Netherlands: fewer exporters of flowers and plants
Just like the production of flower and plants in the Netherlands, also in the trade of these products, the number of companies is going down. In 2011 the number of traders and exporters was 724; last year this was reduced to 686. Just as a year earlier this is a reduction of 5%.
But while the number of traders goes down, the size and turnover of the companies increases. Last year, the number of exporters with a turnover of more than €40 million went up by from 28 to 32, while this number was only 22 in 2009.
The major decrease in traders takes place in the range of companies with a turnover of less than € 2 million. Last year the number of traders in this range went down by 8%.
Colombia exports nearly 500 million stems for Valentine
Augusto Solano, president of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, Asocolflores estimated that Colombia exported close to 500 million flowers this Valentine’s Day, mainly to the United States.
“Valentine’s Day accounts for around 12% of our annual sales”, Solano stated. “Valentine’s Day also brings 10,000 extra jobs on board to the almost 130,000 generated by the nation’s floriculture industry in 48 Colombian townships”, he added.
Solano mentioned that the weather conditions have not been a big concern so far and foresees that production will be business as usual with the bar being set at exporting 1,500,000 boxes of flowers this holiday. “Valentine’s Day 2013 fell on a Thursday, which historically has been a good day for consumers in terms of ordering and buying flowers, particularly in the United States, where Colombia ships 76% of its flower sales,” added Solano.
EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Negotiation Should Improve Market Opportunities and Address Non-tariff Barriers for Food and Agricultural Products
On February 12, 2013, U.S. President Barak Obama announced his support for negotiations of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU during the annual State of the Union address. “We welcome the news that the EU and U.S. will negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) to generate economic benefits and growth in both economies,” said Carlo Trojan, IPC’s chairman. “The FTA should include agriculture, eliminate tariffs on our agricultural trade and improve market access. It also provides a much needed opportunity to engage at the highest levels to address our differing perspectives on non-tariff barriers.”
The EU exported $17 billion worth of agricultural products to the U.S. last year (including forestry and fishery items), while the U.S. exported $12 billion to the EU. For both, the largest category of trade is in consumer oriented, high value products. While important markets for each other’s agricultural products, the bilateral trade relationship has been characterized by serious disagreements over several decades, resulting in lost sales. Much of this disagreement is due to differing perspectives on legitimate requirements to protect human, plant and animal life and health.
“In negotiating an FTA, we would have the opportunity to explore ways to find common ground on approaches to food safety and other issues,” Trojan continued. “A fresh look at the trade-related impacts of these policies from experts as well as the high-level officials with responsibility for the negotiation, could lead to a shared approach and foundation for improved trade.”
The negotiations on agricultural matters are expected to be challenging as both the EU and U.S. have constituencies that seek tariff reductions, greater access to restricted markets, and the harmonization of various regulations. Furthermore, stakeholders have called for enforceable rules on sanitary and phytosanitary issues, additional obligations on geographical indications, and commitments with regard to sustainable development.
“The EU-U.S. agricultural trade relationship has a long history that provides the context with which negotiators will approach these talks,” commented Ellen Terpstra, IPC’s president. “On February 27, IPC will release a paper elaborating on these divergent attitudes and proposing ways for the negotiation to achieve a successful outcome.”
The International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council promotes the role of trade in creating a more open, equitable, productive and sustainable global food & agricultural system. IPC makes pragmatic trade policy recommendations to help solve the major challenges facing the global food and agricultural system in the 21st century—the need to promote global food security, to sustainably increase productivity, and to contribute to economic growth and development. IPC convenes influential policymakers, agribusiness executives, farm and civil society leaders, and academics from around the world in order to clarify complex issues, foster broad stakeholder participation in policy deliberations, and build consensus around pragmatic policy recommendations. More information about the organization and its membership can be found on our website: www.agritrade.org.
Launched in 2011, the awards seek to identify, recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations to strategic social development and to the growth of the philanthropic movement in East Africa. By highlighting their contributions EAAG hopes to create awareness on the significance of giving and create role models for local philanthropy.
In 2012, 6 individuals and organizations were awarded for their outstanding commitment to social development in the region.
The 2013 Awards will recognize those who through their planned and structured giving of money, time, information, goods and services have given voice and influence towards improvement of the well-being of humanity and the communities they live in. The award categories under consideration for this years’ awards are
• East Africa Individual Philanthropy Award
• East Africa Youth Philanthropy Award
• East Africa Faith-Based Philanthropy Award
• East Africa Family Philanthropy Award
• East Africa Community Philanthropy Award
• East Africa 2013 Social Entrepreneurship Award
• East Africa Corporate Philanthropy Award
• EAAG Jury Chairperson Award
Winners of the 2013 Award will be announced at a Gala Dinner during the 4th East Africa Grantmakers Conference that will be taking place from the 23rd-26th July 2013 in Mombasa, Kenya.