The Kenyan flower continues to catch the international eye year after year owing to its uniqueness. This prominence is a result of the zeal by the Kenyan growers who ensures production of first class quality flowers. Moreover, its believed that Kenyan flowers stands out globally in terms of longer vase-life.
Currently, for every 10 stems sold in Europe four are likely to be from Kenya. And now, Kenya is diversifying into other markets outside Europe. Also, the marketing model from auctions to direct market has grown extensively over the last five years, targeting over 60 destinations. New markets like Japan, the Far East, Korea, Australia and Eastern Europe are growing fast. The industry is looking forward to increased demand in the American market, now that Kenya has a direct freight to the US.
The success of the Kenya floriculture sector has been driven by an ideal climate to meet the market demand for all year round availability. Additionally, Kenya has excellent airfreight links to all the major trading hubs in the world. But most of all, the success of the industry has been built upon Kenyan employees who have grasped the opportunity and proved to be eager to learn and work hard.
The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is a trade association with a membership representing over 80 percent of flower exports. Formed in 1996, it has been at the forefront of establishing Kenya as a leading worldwide player in the international floriculture industry.
KFC’s Flowers and Ornamentals Sustainability Standard (FOSS), popularly known as KFC Silver and Gold Standard encourages commitment to quality and innovation within the industry, promoting and pursuing equitable trading practices, thus ensuring that certified producers foster sustainable, responsible and safe production of cut flowers and ornamentals.
All members must comply with the KFC Silver Standard which demands high standards of environmental and socio-economic practice to ensure the responsible and safe production of cut flowers. The Standard covers governance, good agricultural practice, human resource management and workers’ welfare, health & safety, environmental protection & conservation, and post-harvest. It is one of only three international standards that meet the social and environmental benchmarks set by the EU based Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI).
The FSI portal has more than 150 standards, labels, codes of practices and references worldwide to help growers implement better practices that comply with market demand. The portal is developed with the International Trade Centre (ITC) Standards Map, which allows an online overview. The FSI basket of standards identifies the main standards used for good sustainability practices in the floriculture sector. And to ensure a neutral and objective comparison, these standards are benchmarked against the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) for social requirements and GlobalGAP for environmental. As such, the FSI portal offers a transparent way to look into standards by making them comparable and assists FSI members in understanding and using the information for their reference and sourcing.
The visibility of the Kenyan flower brand is spread though different promotional forums, ensuring the understanding of the story behind the Kenyan flower.
Home is where it all begins…. The International Floriculture Trade Expo (IFTEX), staged annually at Visa Oshwal in Nairobi Kenya, is a sell-out success story. IFTEX is the leading global event for the Floriculture industry, presenting a diverse range of flowers grown in Kenya. The IFTEX show echoes the broad range of quality cut flowers from Kenya targeting different markets. With buyers attending from all over the world and exhibitors representing all the different sectors in the flower industry, the show is a must attend. The industry is looking forward to the upcoming 8th edition, scheduled to take place from 5th to 7th June 2019.
Floriculture is one of Kenya’s great economic success stories. It is now the fastest growing export sector in the Kenyan economy, providing direct employment for over 150,000 workers, of which more than half women, and overall creates employment for more than a million people indirectly and impacting in excess of 5 million lives.
Over the last 5 years Kenya’s cut-flower exports have grown by almost 30 percent, according to Kenya’s Horticultural Crops Directorate and are currently valued at over USD113 million. In terms of volume this represents a staggering 5 billion stems of flowers per annum.