The Kenya Flower Council held a successful Kenya Flower Industry Sustainability Conference on June 6, 2017 at a Nairobi Hotel attracting many stakeholders local and International from flower growers, service/product providers Civil Society, Government, Development Agencies’ and other business service providers.
The forum addressed challenges and reviewed current interventions that contribute to flower industry sustainability i.e. Trade protocols; market access; logistics – cool chain, worker welfare and environmental stewardship.
The Kenya Flower Council Chairman Mr. Richard Fox welcomed participants to the conference. He said that sustainable practice in Flower sector is not just about growing but it also involves governance, regulation, logistics, human capital, marketing and distribution.
“Beyond what we do have some influence over, it also extends to involve customer choice and eventually the disposal of what we put all this effort into producing”. He said.
The conference was graced by the Dr. Richard Munang the Regional Climate Change Coordinator – UNEP. The three panel discussions were steered by Mr. Mike Eldon of Depot Kenya.
The first panel rigorously deliberated on improved sustainability performance in the floriculture value chain chaired by Mr. Bimal Kantaria of Elgon Kenya with the panelist Ruth Vaughan – Technical Director CropNuts , Jeroen van der Hulst – Flower Watch , James Steady- BSR , Andrew Ondete- HIVOS , Grace Kyalo- Horticultural Crops Directorate and Okisegere Ojepat – Director Fresh Producer Exporters Association of Kenya/Kenya Horticultural Council. The session covered value addition through Innovation in production for sustainability, post-harvest: temperature control of flowers, workers Wellness and Productivity, workers Welfare and Productivity, KS 1758 Part I &II, and National Horticulture Traceability System and organization of Export Horticulture Industry in Kenya.
The second panel intensively reflected on standards for enhanced Sustainability throughout the Value chain steered by Sylvie Mamias- Secretary General, Union Fleurs with the panelists Charles Ongwae – Managing Director- Kenya Bureau of Standards, Dr. Esther Kimani – Managing Director Kenya Plant and Health Inspectorate Service, Jeroen Oudheusden – FSI and Richard Fox – Chairman Kenya Flower Council (10 Mins). The session covered Standards for enhanced Sustainability Throughout the Value chain, role of Standards in the sustainability of the flower industry, status of Market Access for Horticulture Exports from Kenya , Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) approach towards a sustainable sector and Securing and Sustaining Markets: What does the Kenya Flower Council Code of Practice offer Members and Stakeholders.
The third panel focused on Logistics, markets and market access chaired by Mike Eldon and panelists Sylvie Mamias – Union Fleur, Mercy Achola – Founder & Executive Director Value Connect, Matthea Van der Mollen – Flora Holland, J.M Mandelbaum and Jane Ngige – Chief Executive Officer Kenya Flower Council. The discussion in this last session delved in opportunities for market diversification globally, market challenges and opportunities in the UAE and neighboring countries, expanded markets and opportunities and de-risking the flower industry throughout the value chain.
The conference was graciously sponsored by Elgon Kenya, HPP Exhibitions, Kuehne + Nagel, Messe Frankfurt, Mzurrie – Winchester farm, Ufadhili Trust, USAID – KAVES and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR).