The third edition of Flower Logistics Africa had a full house representing a cross-section of the entire value chain of flower trade. Revolved around the core theme of “Cold Chain Protocols and Common Standard: Keys to Africa’s Flower Industry” the event was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi and attracted participation from Africa and outside.
The participants of the day-long conference deliberated on the typical challenges faced by the flower industry as a whole. The discussions revolved around the need for standardisation that will enhance exports and gain traction for Kenya’s flower industry in the global market.
The changing paradigms like the entry of e-commerce players are expected to drive the flower markets in the coming years. The flower trade players may have to look towards a ‘Look East’ policy as demand from China will increase in the coming years.
Peter Musola, the cargo commercial manager for Kenya Airways, who was part of a panel discussion, emphasised on KQ’s commitment to providing fresh networking opportunities. "Kenya Airways Cargo is expanding our cool chain facility to deal with the over demand during peak seasons. We are also expanding our warehouse infrastructure to accommodate demand,” he said. In regards to KQ launching direct flights from Nairobi to New York, Musola added, “We are looking into partnerships with the John F. Kennedy Airport with our recently launched flights to NewYork to enable access for our flowers to Miami, Toronto and Vancouver.
While discussing about setting cold chain protocols and common standards for African flower export, Evans Michoma, manager, cargo Kenya Airports Authority, mentioned, "Plans are underway to launch a cargo service quality surveys for all exporters & importers. This tool will ensure cool chains standards are maintained both at the receiving & loading phases. These results will be publicized for all suppliers for actions."
Efficiency and sustainability in the floral logistics supply chain took centre stage of discussions as participants sought to identify new opportunities that will allow African exporters to compete in global markets. Clement Tulezi, the CEO of Kenya Flower Council emphasized, "We are looking more into improving our market access by working closely with other key partners as we aim to remain the main voice for the Kenya flower industry."
Kenya is the leading exporter out of Africa with over 16, 000 tonnes perishables per month. Saudia Cargo, according to Ken Mbogo, the Regional Director in Africa, handles approximately 25 percent of those goods. This is the leading cargo serving the African floricultural operations in Kenya. While discussing about how data can improve transport and logistics for Africa, Mbogo mentioned that the airline is taking advantage of their online customer surveys to get insights that influence change in their day-to-day operations.