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Fifth Video Conference on the Global Competitiveness of the Flower Industry in Eastern Africa

The World Bank, in cooperation with the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), organised a series of video conference-based seminars on topics pertaining to competitiveness in the floriculture industry. The 5th seminar, held on the 29th of November 2011, covered the issue of global competitiveness of floriculture production in the East Africa Region. Representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda participated in the videoconference.

ProVerde was asked to prepare an issue paper on the competitiveness of the Kenyan flower industry and by extension the East African producer’s compared to other global producers and exporters. The paper provided an important contextual and experiential learning point for the other countries involved in the videoconference. Results from the study were presented and discussed during the conference. Continue reading

Uganda pilot to export local flowers to Europe

With the assistance of Hortiwise, the Uganda Floricultural Association (UFA) is set to pilot the export of local flowers to European markets.

UFA is embarking on the task of getting potential buyers in the European market where in this very month of February, a commercial trial shipment will be conducted to obtain insights on the quality aspects as well as getting feedback from potential buyers in Europe.

Read more in the article

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

Uganda: Flower Sector May Wilt As Clients Go Bankrupt

Just found this article on flowerweb (dated 8 January 2009):

Ugandan flower export earnings have been sapped by the spills of the global financial crisis which has lead to the cancellation of contracts and prices nose diving.

Juliet Musoke, the executive director of the Uganda Flower Exporters Association (UFEA) said some European buyers have gone bankrupt due to the crisis. “Some of our buyers have closed down due to insolvency while others have not expressed interest in signing up new contracts. The prices have also dropped to very low levels that some growers find it unnecessary to ship because the prices offered do not even cover freight charges,” Musoke said.

UFEA had earlier on projected a 1,441 metric tonnes increment for export tonnage and $42m earnings this year. There are 20 flower farms employing over 12,000 people of which 80% are women. The sector last year earned $32m from 6,559 tonnes and contributed $20 to the economy through taxes.

Musoke said what is more worrying is that all stakeholders are worried because nobody knows what is going to happen and consumers are continuing to tighten their spending on non essentials. The meltdown is among the three major shocks that have gripped the sector that has already been battling high production costs, storms and air freight charges that are eating into their earnings.

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.