Commodities

Cut-flower exports projected to slide 30pc on lockdowns

flower

A worker at a farm in Naivasha prepares flowers for export. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Cut-flower exports to Europe are projected to dip by 40,000 tonnes by December should lockdowns measures imposed by the United Kingdom, France and Germany to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection persist.
  • The Kenya Flower Council chief executive, Clement Tulezi said the three markets take up about 70 percent of Kenya’s cut flower exports— meaning the restrictions will have a huge impact on sales.
  • Mr Tulezi said orders from the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have fallen significantly, affecting performance of the Kenyan produce at the key auction.

Cut-flower exports to Europe are projected to dip by 40,000 tonnes by December should lockdowns measures imposed by the United Kingdom, France and Germany to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection persist.

The Kenya Flower Council chief executive, Clement Tulezi said the three markets take up about 70 percent of Kenya’s cut flower exports— meaning the restrictions will have a huge impact on sales.

“If the lockdown continues, we may have probably 20 to 30 percent of that market share going away,” Mr Tulezi said.

In 2019, Kenya exported 173,719 metric tonnes of flowers globally with approximately 121,603 tonnes going to Europe.

“In terms of tonnage, we are basically looking at it in the region of over 40,000 tonnes that will be curtailed through this,” the CEO added.

This comes at a time when Kenya’s flower orders at the Royal FloraHolland’s auction in the Netherlands has dropped by 20 percent as European countries shifted priority to essential items such as food amid fresh lockdown due to resurgence in Covid-19 infections.

Mr Tulezi said orders from the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have fallen significantly, affecting performance of the Kenyan produce at the key auction.

Mr Tulezi, however said they are in talks with partners in Europe to push for listing of flowers as essential products to sustain sales during the traditional peak season.

“Our partners are working with supermarkets and retailers to lobby governments to reverse the decisions,” he added.