Global flower industry
Royal Flora Holland provides regular updates on developments related to the coronavirus.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has launched a campaign, “Flowers of Hope”, under its Economic Framework for COVID-19 response (Floral Daily, 2 April). The campaign will be implemented through KEPSA members: the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Elgon Kenya, Kenya Airways, and Jambojet, along with volunteer partners from Rotary Kenya and Women of Kenya Initiative.
According to data from KFC, sales of cut flowers in overseas markets are below 35% of what would be expected at this time of the year. This is mostly driven by the European and UK markets, whose local sales in florists have declined to almost zero. However, retailers (supermarkets) are open and cut flowers remain on the shelves.
Despite the lack of sales, growers must still water, fertilise and look after the flowers, otherwise the plant deteriorates and will not deliver flowers in the future. Security must also be maintained to protect the farm infrastructure and people. Labour is still required to perform these tasks so that once the pandemic passes, production and sales can return to expected levels. These ongoing operational costs exceed by a clear margin the revenue from reduced sales.
The campaign started on 30 March with the distribution of flowers to Nairobi hospitals, and will continue in other parts of the country in the coming days.