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Export development programmes for cut flowers in Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and South Africa

CBI’s Export Development Programmes (EDP) for cut flowers are designed to help entrepreneurs in selected African countries to adapt to EU market requirements in order to create conditions for market entry or market consolidation. ProVerde has been involved in many parts of the programme.

Each country programme combined different elements: technical assistance, training in export marketing and management and market entry assistance. In Egypt for example, the programme mainly focused on logistic cooperation and certification. In Kenya, CBI was of the opinion that there is enough knowledge available in the country itself to help to companies to develop their product quality, so instead the programme focused on developing export marketing (including a market tour to the Netherlands), HRM skills of the middle managers, and cooperation between the farms. In Uganda, improvement of product quality and farm management were the main issues, next to marketing training. Continue reading

Market tours for flower exporters from Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia

During a series of market tours organised by ProVerde for CBI, companies were invited for a one-week market tour in The Netherlands.

When having the desire to export to the EU, it is essential for exporters to understand how the market operates. Who is buying flowers and what does that buyer expect from it? What happens with price and market position if this expectation is not fulfilled?

The market tours generally consisted of a combination of company visits and supporting workshop trainings. Continue reading

East African countries agree on common market

A technical team from countries in the East African region, which has been meeting in Kampala, Uganda, has agreed on a pact paving the way for free movement of labour in the region. Once the Kampala Common Market Protocol is endorsed, professionals, services and capital owners would be able to move freely in the five countries of the East African Community (EAC). Continue reading

Dutch Albert Heijn supermarkets introducing African roses under their ‘Pure & Honest’ brand

AH PuurEerlijkOn Monday 12 October, the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn introduced mixed long roses under their AH Pure & Honest brand (AH Puur & Eerlijk). During a short ceremony in Zaandam, Mrs. R.C. Rono, Ambassador of Kenya, presented the first bunch to Mr. Albert Voogd, Director of Commerce of Albert Heijn. During the next two weeks, all Albert Heijn supermarkets will focus on the Pure & Honest theme. This new brand of Albert Heijn makes it easy for customers to choose responsible and sustainable products. Continue reading

Some of Kenya’s biggest flower producers scaled down production due to water scarcity

A water rationing mode currently effected in Naivasha, the bedrock for flower farming, is likely to deny the country the revenue from improved sales ahead of the onset of the peak flower season later this month.

Analysts say the move is adding to the troubles the sector is facing. The industry reported a decline in demand for its products in key markets since the onset of global recession last year, as production drops further with the ongoing drought.
Continue reading

The Netherlands as a gateway for flowers from developing countries.

Recently published trade data (Eurostat) covering the year 2008 shows that The Netherlands remains the leading gateway for flowers from a number of different developing countries. Nevertheless, one leading supplying country can be recognised: Kenya. Imports from Kenya increased by 13% annually between 2004 and 2008, while imports from Ecuador increased by 20% annually during this period. Imports from Colombia and Tanzania showed significant increases as well. However, the most notable performance was that of Ethiopia. Imports from Ethiopia increased by 193% annually, with imports amounting to € 63 million in 2008. Only four years before, the imports from this country were still negligible. In contrast, imports from Zimbabwe decreased by 18% annually during the review period, due to the unstable economic and political situation.

Source: ProVerde, Eurostat

Video about Wilmar Agro in Kenya

Since 2003, ProVerde has been one of the leading consultants involved in carrying out CBI’s training programme for flower exporters in Kenya. To celebrate the finalisaion of the programme, a video has been published focusing on one of the participating companies: Wilmar Agro Ltd, an export company marketing the produce of a large number of small scale farmers (outgrowers). Continue reading

Fair trade flowers at Valentine Growers in Kenya

Paul Mwaniki and Milco Rikken at Valentine GrowersSubsequent to the training in Ethiopia, we continued to Kenya and Tanzania to meet and discuss new training activities with the local trade associations (Kenya Flower Council and TAHA). In Kenya, I still had some time to pay a short visit to Valentine Growers, one of the farms that regularly participated in the previous training programmes.

It was good to see that Valentine Growers is doing well. Direct trade is developing strongly thanks to their attention to sustainable rose production and their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Valentine Growers Co. Ltd is a flower farm located in Kiambu District approximately 15km from the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The farm started in 1996 and has since expanded to two sites with a total acreage of 27 hectares. The total annual production stands at 55 million stems per year. The main destinations for the roses are Holland, Germany, UK, France, Switzerland and Scandinavian Countries. Other regions include USA, Middle East, & the Far East.

In the cold store, we used the opportunity to take a few photos with the Fairtrade flowers that were ready to be shipped to the European supermarkets.

Notice to companies that participated in CBI flower programme

handbook1In January 2008, ProVerde compiled the ‘Handbook Cut Flowers’ for CBI. The handbook is an information source and reminder of all topics discussed during the Export Coaching Programme for Cut Flowers in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. It will also help you deal with some practical problems. You will find useful checklists, exercises, practical worksheets, and questionnaires. The handbook can be requested by your local sector organisation, i.e. KFC, UFEA, ZEGA or Egyptflor.