KEPHIS Meets Flower Growers: The CLIENT Kenya Project
Kenya Plants Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) in-conjunction with the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) with the help of the Royal Netherlands embassy held a forum with the flower growers to discuss electronic certification of Horticultural produce (CLIENT tool) and its implementation in Kenya on 25th August, 2010 at Serena Hotel.
Kephis requested growers to volunteer in taking part in the pilot project whereby they should register by end of October.
The Netherlands is one of the main destinations of Kenya Phytosanitary certificates, for routine horticultural products especially cut flowers. The Dutch PPS has established the Client Tool as an integral inspection clearance process for cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. Other countries that have similar system of export/import clearance include New-Zealand, Australia and Canada
Kenya has initiated the development of a similar certification process whose objective is to introduce an electronic Phytosanitary certification process that is more convenient and cost effective than the current paper certification process.
The system would not only assist Kenyan inspectors in saving time for certification process, but also the Inspectors in Netherlands by cutting down the time spend examining certificates of routine Kenyan consignments, especially through pre-clearance procedures of consignments en route because their e-certificates would be received in The Netherlands instantly.
} Technical infrastructure
◦ Computer /PDA
◦ Internet connectivity
Ability to operate conventional system applications
- 1. Benefits Of The System
1.1. The System Will Benefit The Horticulture Industry In Kenya By
a) Reducing the time it takes to key in information for processing of Phytosanitary certificates. The client will enter the details of their consignments through a web connection and hence will not need to travel to KEPHIS offices to initiate the process.
b) Enhancing the logistics of documentation – the primary data will be entered at the client’s office and hence reduce administrative procedures where data entry services have to be sought or extra personnel engaged to undertake the activity. This is expected to release manpower for other work within the firm.
c) Reduction of paper work – it is expected that firms will use less paper because the information that has been keyed in the system will be reused and hence there will be no need of making copies.
d) Reuse of information – during the analysis of the business processes of phytosanitary certification process, it was found that various organizations involved in the export process require, to a significant level, the same information. The users of the system will be able to exchange the relevant information through a secure internet connection. This will eliminate the need to repeatedly enter the data at each phase of the process.
e) Facilitating negotiations for pre-clearance procedures for Kenyan consignments in importing countries – prior information about a consignment provided to the country of destination can greatly reduce the time taken to clear the produce on arrival at the port of entry. When the plant protection authority has advance information about a commodity before its arrival, its possible to make arrangements for its clearance.
f) Since e-certification avoids expensive security paper used in preparing manual certificates, the Client Tool process is expected to lower the cost of certification. This certification process can be scaled-up to become standard efficiency practise for all horticulture certification in Kenya to all destinations, even when the final product is a paper certificate. Overall, an e-certification process is expected to improve the efficiency of Phytosanitary certification in Kenya, which will facilitate horticulture produce exports from Kenya.
1.2. KEPHIS & other NPPO’S
a) The introduction of e-certification at KEPHIS will greatly enhance the capacity of phytosanitary inspectors by freeing a significant amount of time spend on issuing paper certificates to concentrate more on actual inspections.
b) Other benefits include
- i. Electronic exchange of Phytosanitary certificates between NPPOs
- ii. More secure and hence safeguard against fraud
- iii. Increased efficiency and service delivery
- iv. Better utilization and planning of NPPO resources
1.3. Governments/Other Government Agencies (OGA)
Re-use of information, e.g. also for Customs
- 2. Implementation
The implementation of Client in Kenya started in the last quarter (September) of 2009 and has gone through various phases. The project is expected to end in 2010 when all the projected phases have been realised. During this project period, KEPHIS seeks to collaborate with the private sector organisations dealing with horticultural exports to introduce an electronic system through smatter and enhanced communication.
FFP signs an MOU with KFC
The fair flowers fair a plant (FFP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenya Flower Council (KFC) whereby all KFC members who are silver certified are eligible for FFP registration. The Memorandum was signed by KFC Chairman Hon. Erastus Mureithi, Chief Executive Officer Jane Ngige (Mrs), the president of FFP Mr. Sjef Langeveld and Operation Manager Ms. Regina Dinkla at Norfolk Hotel.
Participation costs per year for KFC members
- Producers <2ha €50
- Traders (exporters/wholesalers) €250
- Points of sale €50 (includes costs of FFP labels & p.o.s material)
FFP were in Kenya for their first Board meetings in Africa scheduled for August 2010. This included a joint stakeholder meeting on 23rd and 24th August 2010 at Brackenhurst Hotel Limuru where they deliberated on different issues on FFP. On 25th August they held a forum with flower growers. The aim of the forum was to educate them on the benefits of being members of FFP.
FFP is an international consumer label for flowers and plants that has been produced in a social and an environmental responsible way. Part of FFP is in fact a tracing systems that guarantees the origin and cultivation methods of the products. They have 170 producers, 195 traders (exporters/wholesalers) and 4000 shops (florist/supermarket outlets).
During the presentation, Ms. Dinkla informed the growers that the FFP consumer label would help to stimulate sales since it’s a guarantee to consumers that the products purchased have been produced with respect for nature and people. This would thus act as a marketing tool for their products in the market.
She emphasized that FFP was not a certification organization and therefore audits in the farms are done by other benchmarked certification bodies like KFC. The basic requirement for growers to use the FFP label is to: cultivate their flowers sustainably and to be environmentally and socially certified.