July 2010 Issue 2

Oserian scoops five awards in Nakuru ASK show

Kenya Flower Council participated in Nakuru ASK show held from 8th to 11th July 2010 at Nakuru show ground where many attendants got a chance to learn more on the flower industry in Kenya. This was an eye opener to many who also expressed interest in small scale growing.

The Oserian Development Company limited scooped five awards in the show which was officially opened by His Excellency, President Mwai Kibaki accompanied by the Minister for Agriculture Dr. Sally Kosgei.  The president visited the Oserian stand where Samson Lukoba of Oserian took him round the stand.

With their elegant stand, well decorated with beautiful flowers of different varieties the Oserian emerged the best Agricultural based Non- statutory Board stand.

The five awards were as follows:

  • 1st with the best Agricultural based Non- statutory Board stand.
  • 1st with the best medium commercial trade stand.
  • 2nd with the stand that best demonstrated technology innovation.
  • 3rd with the Agri-business trade stand
  • 3rd best environmental management trade stand.

Oserian, “place of peace” in the Maasai language, is one of the biggest farms in Kenya.  They operate a fully fledged Plant tissue Culture (PTC) laboratory providing clean planting material for flower farmers and also capable for providing clean disease free planting material for food crops like bananas.

Syngenta launches new fungicide – REVUS

Kenya flower farmers have for a long time suffered when heavy rains and fungi strike at the same time. It is to mitigate this pain in the neck that Syngenta East Africa ltd went back to the drawing board and came up with a product that dries and bonds quickly to the waxy layer of the leaf in just under an hour.

According to Syngenta Revus, is meant to combat Downy Mildew in roses and other ornamental crops, a fungi that is notorious causing farmers huge losses.
The launch of Revus got farmers excited with some noting that they have already used the product with amazing results. The new fungicide, Revus, main advantage lies in its ability to filter through the waxy layer of the leaf surface after application assuring excellent rain fastness as soon as the spray liquid has dried explained Syngenta Technical Development Manager Susan Njoroge.

The absorption ability dubbed ‘Lok+Flo Action’ enables the active ingredient to bond quickly and strongly regardless of the weather conditions. Once the active ingredient ‘mandipropamid’ in the spray liquid has dried, it can not be washed away by the rain.

The active ingredient gradually penetrates from the surface into the leaf tissue, protecting both surfaces by translaminar movement.

Mandipropamid is fundamentally highly active and delivers powerful disease control at low application rates.

Other advantages of Revus include being non-toxic to fish, birds and other beneficial insects. It also ensures workers safety and breaks down fast in the soil.

The product which belongs to Mandelamides chemical class is also safe to most of the crops around the spraying area.

Application: 250SC Revus applied on 0.6 hectares costs Sh3,860. Going by the advantages realized, Revus is pocket friendly.

Product benefits

–       It has consistency and excellent efficacy against Downy Mildew disease no matter the weather.

–       Revus is compatible with IPM programs meaning it fits well in Integrated Crop Management protocols.

–       It leaves no visible residues or taint on the crop.

–       The Lok+Flo action provides the unique combination of three ways of action providing a reliable and long lasting disease control.

–       Revus meets industry needs concerning worker safety and environmental profile.

–       It dries within 1 hour following application and assures excellent foliar protection against Downy Mildew even in wet weather conditions and under frequent rainfall.

–       Revus shows no phytotoxicity at the recommended use rates.

Are you prepared to manage the risks on your own?: African Trade Insurance Agency

The recent ash crisis and the collapse of European economies prove that it can be costly to be unprepared. The impact on our region’s exporters has been harsh, with billions lost to wasted produce or the inability of European buyers to pay. While it is impossible to prepare for everything, exporters should consider one solution that can protect your money. Export Credit Insurance can help.

How?

It can protect you when a buyer does not or cannot pay, if your license gets revoked, and if your bank refuses to lend you money without collateral. These are just some of the ways Export Credit Insurance can help.

The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), a provider of Export Credit Insurance, has supported exporters of fresh flowers and other agro-products in trade worth over US$200 million. They are looking to partner with KFC in spreading their products to KFC members.

For more information, 0202726999 or email ati-und@ati-aca.org

www.at-aca.org

FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer –  3 – 5 November 2010

FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer will be held from 3 to 5 November this year. For three days the FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer will be the place to do business.

Exporters, wholesalers and their domestic and foreign customers can find a comprehensive range of flowers, plants, product concepts, trend presentations and new products. The trade fair will have in total more than 600 growers’ stands and a number of themed plazas.

Due to the great popularity among prospective participants, FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer has increased in size again this year. The growth of the fair is primarily reflected in the greater number of cut flower growers who are presenting their wares at the fair. Around 20 percent of the growers are exhibiting cut flowers and 80 percent are showing plants.
Trade professionals will be granted free admission to FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer. Each visitor will be registered at the entrance.

Europe International Exporters Trade Brief

There will be a Europe International Exporters Trade Brief to be held on 22nd July 2010 at Panafric Hotel. Europe continues to be one of the major destination markets for East Africa exports. The trade brief will be a networking cocktail and the main speaker will be Julian Campbell a Business Development Consultant based in the UK.

The topics to be discussed are opportunities for Exporters in EU, Business Development and Marketing strategy for the EU market, Carbon Footprint (managing emission standards), various international agreements that influences trade relations with the EU and many more.

The registration Fee is Kshs.18, 000 for the full event and to attend the Evening Cocktail Only Kshs.3, 200.

UPCOMING CHANGES IN THE EU LIST OF REDUCED PHYTOSANITARY CHECKS

The EU Standing Committee on Plant Health has adopted at the end of June 2010 a number of changes in the existing levels for reduced phytosanitary checks at the EU borders. These changes will become applicable as from 1 January 2011.

The updated list of cut flowers eligible for reduced levels of Phytosanitary inspections at import into the EU will stand as follows as from 01/01/2011:

Genus Country of Origin Minimum % of consignments to be checkedAS FROM 01/01/2011 CN code
Aster Zimbabwe 100 603 19 90 90
change (until 31/12/10: 3) Dianthus Colombia 5 0603 12
Dianthus Ecuador 15 0603 12
change (until 31/12/10: 50) Dianthus Israel 100 0603 12
change (until 31/12/10: 25) Dianthus Kenya 5 060312
Dianthus Turkey 25 0603 12
change (until 31/12/10: 5) Rosa Colombia 3 0603 11
Rosa Ecuador 3 0603 11
change (until 31/12/10: 10) Rosa Ethiopia 5 0603 11
change (until 31/12/10: 100) Rosa India EXCLUDED 0603 11
Rosa Israel 100 0603 11
change (until 31/12/10: 10) Rosa Kenya 5 0603 11
change (until 31/12/10: 15) Rosa Tanzania 10 0603 11
change (until 31/12/10: 100) Rosa Uganda 25 0603 11
change (until 31/12/10: 50) Rosa Zambia 25 0603 11

FFP meetings scheduled for August 2010 to be held in Kenya

Fair Flowers Fair Plants will have their FFP Board Meeting scheduled for August 2010 in Kenya. The Meetings will start from 23rd to 25th August, 2010. The chairman of Kenya flower Council Hon. Erastus Mureithi and Chief Executive Officer Jane Ngige will represent Kenya Flower Council. During the same, there will be stakeholder’s joint meeting

Delegation from Landgard Blumen to visit Kenya

A delegation from Landgard Blumen & Pflanzen GmbH will be visiting Kenya from 17th to 22 September 2010. Heiner van de Sand will be accompanied by two directors Mr. Jürgen Rosar and Gerrie Swinkels.

Any farm interested in meeting the delegation can contact Kenya Flower Council on kfc@wananchi.com or info@kenyaflowercouncil.org .

What the law Says about Agency Fee

The Agricultural Employers’ Association brought together the Flower industry to deliberate on the controversial issue of the Agency fee on 2nd July 2010. Experts on the labour matters from Federation of Kenya Employers were invited and helped them chart the way forward.

Questions Asked:-

a)What does the law say about Agency Fee?

49.(1) A trade union that has concluded a collective agreement registered by the Industrial Court with an employer, group of employers or an employers’ organization, setting terms and conditions of service for all unionisable employees covered by the agreement may request the Minister to issue an order requiring any employer bound by the collective agreement to deduct an agency fee from the wages of each unionisable employee covered by the collective agreement who is not a member of the trade union.

b)Has Agency fees been Applied in other sectors?

The answer is YES all employers that negotiate their terms and conditions of employees with union (Collective Bargaining Agreement) are already deducting agency fees as ordered by the Minister. Example of Farms in the Agricultural sector already deducting agency fee include Oserian Flowers, Shalimar Flowers , Finlays Flowers, Finlays Tea, Unilever Tea, Sotik Tea, Delmonte, Coffee Growers Association members, Sugar Industry, Sisal Grower Association members, Limuru Tea, Ol Pejeta Ranch (see Kenya Gazette Notice No 61 of 18th June 2010) just to name but a few.

c)Is there any Court Award that guides on Agency Fee?

Yes. The same is contained in Industrial Court Award Cause No 545 (N) of 2009. The award has shed a lot of light and direction on the matter and it was read out to members. It has clearly differentiated Agency fee and union membership; it has given its position on constitutionality of the Act putting into consideration section 80 of the Kenya constitution on freedom of Association etc.

d)Can Employers Challenge the Law?

No employer has ever gone to court to challenge the law. The guidance received from the experts was that it cannot be challenged directly by employer because they are not directly aggrieved. The money is deducted from employees and the employer is simply an agent who has been directed to deduct and remit to the amount.

e)Can the Workers Challenge the Law?

YES. The process however will not be to sue the Minister for Labour because the Minister is simply complying with the provision of section 49 of the Labour Relations Act. What needs to be done is to challenge the constitutionality of the Law and on the basis that it infringes on their Freedom of Association provided by the constitution of Kenya. That can only be done in a constitutional court and it involves a lot of money.

The Way Forwards

The participants agreed on plan A & B on the issue:-

(A)Sponsor the workers to Challenge the constitutionality of the Law.

(B)Negotiate with the union the amount to be paid as Agency fee to ensure it is minimal.

Plan A has obviously failed since nobody is willing to sponsor and that leaves them with plan B of engaging the union on a discussion.

It is prudent upon employers to operate their businesses while adhering to the provisions of the law. It is for that reasons that while the law on PAYE taxation may not be popular among employees the employer must deduct because it is the law.

The Labour Relations Act 2007 Section 50 (10) says: “(10) An employer or any person who contravenes the provisions of this section commits an offence”

AEA has so far received names from over 90% of the employers as requested by the Minister for Labour and will forwarded once they agree with the union on the amount.

KFC organize trainings

Kenya flower council is organizing two trainings for its members. The trainings will be as follows:

  1. 1. OSH Management Systems (OHSMS) & QMS internal audit training

The training targeting all farm Internal Auditors will be based on ISO 9001, SA 8000 as management and other systems policy initiatives promoting the sustainability. This will enhance production and adoption of a management system (MS) in line with local and international Standards suitable for management and decision making.

The training will be carried out in two regions:

v  Nairobi – 23rd to 27th august 2010

v  Naivasha –  30th August to 3rd September 2010

The cost of attendance is Kshs. 27,500 inclusive of 16% VAT per person. It includes costs of venue, meals and trainers fee.

  1. 2. Productivity training

The training targeting Genera/Farm Managers, Human Resource Managers, Production Managers and Pack House Managers will be on tested and tried productivity improved tools, including introduction to lifecycle assessment (for carbon footprint.)

The training will take place in three regions:

  • Nairobi – 3rd and 4th August 2010
  • Naivasha – 10th and 11th August 2010
  • Nanyuki – 17th and 18th August 2010

The cost of attendance is kshs. 33,000 inclusive of 16% VAT per person. It includes costs of the venue, meals and trainers fee.

For more information on the trainings kindly contact Kenya Flower Council on kfc@wananchi.com or info@kenyaflowercouncil.org

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