SOLIDARITY

Kenya sends flowers to UK to protect farm jobs

Dubbed Flowers of Hope, the campaign kicked off at a presidential roundtable

In Summary
  • The UK distribution is the first international distribution, an important symbol as London is Kenya’s traditional market for flowers.
  • According to data from Kenya Flower Council, sales of cut flowers in overseas markets are below 35 per cent of what is expected at this time of the year.
Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki at the private sector state of economy address in Nairobi on May 11 /ENOS TECHE
Kepsa chief executive Carole Kariuki at the private sector state of economy address in Nairobi on May 11 /ENOS TECHE

Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), through its members, Kenya Flower Council and other flower growers on Friday flagged off over 300 bouquets of flowers to London, United Kingdom.

Dubbed Flowers of Hope, the campaign kicked off at a presidential roundtable and was developed by KEPSA in partnership with its members as a uniting symbol to show solidarity and compassion emerging in Kenya and indeed the world as a response to the Covid-19.

“Our member, the Kenya Flower Council, has done this to show empathy and this sends a strong message of partnership at a time when many countries are facing difficulty,” said KEPSA’s Chief Executive Officer Carol Karuga.

 
 

After a successful distribution at main hospitals in Nairobi and the counties, the UK distribution is the first international distribution, an important symbol as London is Kenya’s traditional market for flowers.

“The campaign is a show of gratitude and support to the people at the frontline of or suffering from the pandemic, which will also help in saving thousands of farm jobs in Kenya’s flower farms,” said Karuga.

According to data from the Kenya Flower Council, sales of cut flowers in overseas markets are below 35 per cent of what is expected at this time of the year.

This is mostly driven by the European and United Kingdom markets whose local sales in florists have declined to almost zero.

Retailers are open for essential foodstuff and cut flowers remain on the shelves.

“It is by standing together that we become stronger and endure therefore Kenyans are showing their love through what Kenya does best, flowers,” said Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive Officer, Clement Tulezi.

In 2018 the floriculture sector earned the country Sh113 billion contributing around 1.07 per cent to the country's GDP and is the fourth largest contributor of foreign exchange after diaspora, tourism and tea.

 
 

The industry is inclusive consisting of both large exporters and smallscale farmers, who need to keep their jobs.

In the UK, the flowers will be received by Flamingo Limited, UK and will be distributed to doctors and nurses on the frontline of combating Covid-19, recovering patients and care homes.


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