KFC Profile


KFC PROFILE

Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is a voluntary association of independent growers and exporters of cut-flowers and ornamentals, formed in 1996, with the aim of fostering responsible and safe production of cut flowers in Kenya with due consideration of workers welfare and protection of the environment. 

Against this background the KFC has become a common platform for industry representation, promotion and compliance to pertinent local and international standards, deemed necessary to secure markets.

KFC administers compliance through an internationally accredited KFC Code of Practice (CoP) on good agricultural practice, sustainability, social accountability, hygiene health and safety, capacity building, environmental protection and conservation, adherence to which is the backbone of all KFC activities. 

The Certification Scheme comprising the KFC CoP and Quality Management Systems is accredited by the South African National Accreditation Systems (SANAS), as a Certification Body (C49), in accordance with ISO Guide 65:1999. 

In order to remain relevant, the Code which is a living document stays abreast with industry dynamics. Benchmarking the KFC CoP to other codes such as GlobalGap, Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP), Tescos Nurture, KS- 1758 in addition to 23 different Kenya Government statutes, provides an opportunity to conduct “Combi” audits as a measure of effective and efficient service to members.

It also embraces the principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention, International Code of Conduct (ICC), Ethical Trade Initiatives (ETI) and the Horticulture Ethical Business Initiatives. 

As of January 2015, KFC had a producer membership of 80 flower farms situated throughout the country. The current KFC membership represents about 50 – 60% of the flowers exported from Kenya. Associate membership stands at 58 members representing major Cut Flower Auctions and Distributors in UK, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Kenya. Associate members are involved in the flower sector through flower imports, provision of farm inputs and other affiliated services.

KFC is a member of:

  1. Global Gap
  2. Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI)
  3. Union Fleurs
  4. COLEACP
  5. Kenya Horticultural Council (KHC)
  6. Horticulture Council of Africa (HCA)
  7. Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) 
  8. Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)
  9. Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE)
  10. National Taskforce on Horticulture.

THE VISION
“To be the lead organization in the provision of representational, self-regulation and promotion services for the floriculture industry in Kenya.”

STRATEGY
“Active participation in the formulation and implementation of policies governing sustainable development of the floriculture sector”.

THE MISSION
“To promote economic, social and political interests of the floriculture industry through active participation in the determination and implementation of policies governing sustainable development of the sector”.

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US Chamber of commerce visits Kenya to discuss trade

January 23, 2015January 23, 2015

The US Chamber of commerce has pledged its continued support in lobbing for Kenya to be granted direct flights to the USA. This was said when President Uhuru Kenyatta met with the visiting US Chamber of Commerce Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant to discuss business ties between Kenya and the United States.

The government said it has increased security at the Airport and taken additional steps to secure the flight path which was one of the key concerns highlighted by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

On the other hand, Kenya is set to be among the key beneficiaries from the renewal of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act AGOA which is set to be renewed in September this year. Negotiations for the renewal of Kenya’s Beneficiary status are set to be concluded before the September deadline.

The Kenya government in partnership with the private sector will form a Kenya US business council to forge new economic ties between the two countries. Key areas of focus under the council will be increasing business to business partnerships, exploitation of new trade opportunities and development of policy to increase trade between the two countries.

The government shall also work with KEPSA and the US Chamber of commerce to organize an EAC US business summit to be held in September or October this year to expound and firm up on negotiations and partnerships forged during the US Africa Leaders’ Summit held in August last year.

The meeting also explored means of expanding trade facilitation and positioning Kenya and the wider East African community to benefit from new programs set to be launched by the United States to facilitate trade. The programs include Trade Africa which seeks increase internal and regional trade within the EAC and Power Africa which seeks to increase access to power.

The meeting held at Harambee House brought together the government, members of the US business community under the US Chamber of commerce and the private sector under the leadership of KEPSA (where KFC is a member), to firm up on discussions initiated during the US Africa Leadership Summit held in August last year. In attendance were top government officials including Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed and her Industrialization Counterpart Adan Mohamed. The private sector was represented by KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki and KEPSA Director Kiprono Kittony who is the national Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Kenya Foreign and Diaspora Policy launched

January 23, 2015

The Kenya Foreign and Kenya Diaspora Policies were officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on January 20, 2015 at KICC, Nairobi. the president said that Kenya has redefined its foreign policy to ensure it properly supports robust reciprocal bilateral and multilateral relations in trade, taxation and investment. He added that while the Foreign Policy document lays out the principles that govern Kenya’s engagement with the world, the Diaspora Policy will guide in harnessing the wealth and expertise of Kenyans in the diaspora to development efforts.

The Foreign policy provides a broad framework on Kenya’s foreign relations and diplomatic engagements within a contemporary globalized environment. The policy further outlines the evolution of Kenya’s foreign relations and engagements with other partners over the last five decades and its future strategic direction to ensure the achievement of the collective aspirations of Kenyans, bearing in mind the critical role of foreign policy in meeting national priorities.

The Foreign Policy is pegged on five pillars; economic diplomacy, peace diplomacy, environmental diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and Diaspora diplomacy. This is the first time since independence that Kenya is launching a published foreign policy.

The Economic diplomacy aims to realize a robust and sustained economic transformation so as to secure Kenya’s social economic development and prosperity in line with the goals and aspirations of the Kenya Vision 2030

The objectives of this pillar are to

  • Increase capital flows to Kenya and the East African region;
  • Support export promotion and investment by Kenyan enterprises within the region and beyond;
  • Promote the country as a favourite destination for foreign direct investment, tourism, and conferencing;
  • Expand access to traditional markets and explore new destinations for Kenya’s exports;
  • Enhance technological advancement by exploring new sources of affordable and appropriate technology;
  • Support the exploration of alternative sources of traditional and renewable energy;
  • Strengthen regional economic communities and organizations to serve as competitive spring boards to emerging and global markets; and
  • Promote fair trade and equitable bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements.

Consultant needed to conduct a baseline survey on enhancing small growers market accessibility through group certification, training and market linkages

January 23, 2015

With Support from IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), the Kenya Flower Council is undertaking a project whose overall objective is to achieve group certification, training and market linkage for small holders. To achieve this, a baseline study needs to be conducted to collect specific data that would be useful in constructing activities necessary to meet the project objectives. In this regard, KFC is looking for a consultant to conduct this. Please find the Terms of reference and more on this link http://kenyaflowercouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/TOR-revised-for-baseline-survey-consultant-Final.pdf2_.pdf

Official review of the Horticulture Code of Practice – KS 1758:2015

January 23, 2015

The Kenya Flower Council is happy to report that the review of the Horticulture Code of Practice – KS 1758 has officially been kicked off by KEBS. The first technical committee meeting of this review was held on 22nd January 2015 at KEBS headquarters, under the National Technical Committee on Agriculture.

While standards are ideally reviewed after 5 years, or shorter if there is need, the Horticulture Code of Practice – KS 1758 of 2004 has gone for over 10 years without review. With the ever changing industry dynamics in production, marketing, and the consumer demands, the standard requires updating to tackle the current challenges of sustainability and facilitate trade.

The review has been initiated by the Kenya Flower Council after the successful National-wide Compliance Mechanism project, funded by the Dutch Government, with comprehensive consultations with stakeholders. The project provided a draft copy of the Horticulture Standard specific to Flowers and Ornamentals, which was handed over to KEBS for consideration during the current review. The reviewed standard has an extended scope bringing on board Breeders, Propagators, Shippers and Cargo Handlers who are all important in the value chain for wholesome compliance and sustainability.

The draft standard shall be discussed further by the KEBS Technical committee before it is distributed to all stakeholders for a 60 day Public Review Phase.

KFC shall keep you informed on the progress.

KFC challenges the Kenya Government to improve the ease of doing business

January 23, 2015

The Kenya Flower Council Chairman Mr. Richard Fox has challenged the government to improve the ease of doing business in Kenya. He said this during The Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Conference held at the Safari Park Hotel on January 22, 2015. The event was organized by the USAID-funded Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP) in conjunction with the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and the Fresh Produce and Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK).

He acknowledged the progress made by the government on removing some of the constraints that have held back the growth of the horticulture industry. He added that despite a number of challenges, there is constructive interaction at both central and county government levels and a willingness to create an environment for business to flourish.

Mr. Fox said that the flowers industry needs a national policy to link wage increases to increases in productivity and that recognizes that wages in our industry are already substantially above statutory minimums and blanket increases in percentage terms are not sustainable.

He called on the government to provide landing rights to new freight operators prepared to service additional destinations where growth in sales has been witnessed for example US, Japan and Russia. The sector also needs more government support to promote the Kenya brand as an unrivalled source of sustainably grown quality flowers. Financial support to participate in international trade shows and floricultural exhibitions would play a key role.

On the other hand reduced cost of inputs, management of labour costs, support for private sector industry initiatives to promote quality and sustainable production would also drive the sector to the next level.

Mr. Fox further said that the growers will continue working more closely with KEPHIS to achieve the quality of service needed to support the operational needs of the industry and at the same time meet the required market standards.

The conference acted as a catalyst in defining and implementing a strategic action plan to reposition the horticulture industry over the next five years and strengthen the global impact of Brand Kenya in flowers, fruits, vegetables, and associated processed foods. More than 400 delegates including senior policy makers, exporters, and technical advisors drawn from across the country attended the conference. Among the dignitaries included PS Agriculture, Cecily Kariuki, Sylvie Mamias of Union Fleurs, Ian Chesterman of KHCP, Christophe De Vroey of EU delegation amongst others.

Consultant needed to conduct a baseline survey

January 20, 2015January 20, 2015

The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is looking for a consultant to conduct baseline survey on enhancing small growers market accessibility through group certification, training and market linkages.

The floriculture sub-sector plays a key role in Kenya’s economy by contributing 1.6% to the GDP and employing over 90,000 people directly, 500,000 indirectly and sustaining over 2 million livelihoods. However the industry faces many challenges among them ways to enhance productivity and competitiveness to counter rising cost of production and low income from the market place. In addition, the small-scale flower producers in Kenya have limited access to markets due to their inability to produce the marketable quality. Access to certification has as well been a challenge to small holder farmers.

Despite the challenges, the industry continues to attract new, local and foreign investors due to a solid infrastructure, inbuilt knowledge of prerequisites for successful flower farming and marketing, favourable climate, global-positioning of Kenya as a cut-flower producing country, and a productive local workforce. Further, floriculture has been identified as a key component of Kenya’s Vision 2030; the country’s blueprint that aims to propel the country to a middle-income status by year 2030.

Currently KFC accreditation to certify covers individual sites. Recently 2,500 small scale growers joined the council through an affiliate member. The option available to provide certification services to them is through group certification. For this, the KFC requires to develop a new QMS, train KFC auditors and create awareness among a pilot group of about 10 groups of 10-15 small farmers in the first year. From lessons learnt, other groups may be brought on board if resources allow. Capacity thus developed will also benefit companies with multiple sites.

To achieve the overall project objective of group certification, training and market linkages a proper baseline survey needs to be carried out to collect specific data that would be useful in constructing activities necessary to meet the project objectives. For the terms of reference click (Terms of reference for baseline survey consultant)

County Government to work closely with the flower vendors

January 16, 2015January 16, 2015

County Government to work closely with the flower vendors

The County Executive Committee Member for Trade, Industrialization, Co-operative Development, Tourism and Wildlife from Nairobi County Hon. Anna Othoro graced a half day flower vendors workshop organized by the Kenya Flower Council together with the Flower Vendors Association on January 13, 2015 at Parklands Baptist Church.

Hon. Othoro indicated willingness to find pragmatic solutions to the issues that are currently affecting the florists as they do their business in the county. She said the county is committed to work with the vendors in identifying areas where they can do business and also build kiosks. In regard to markets the vendors requested they be allocated spaces at Westlands, City Market and any other upcoming market within the County. The Minister said the county will launch a fresh produce market in Kariobangi and flowers will be considered.

With the Valentine’s Day just around the corner, she expressed her desire to have the vendors mount a more elaborate activity over the valentine month of February instead of the three days they usually do. It is noteworthy that domestic flower trade has shown marked growth. The remarkable initiative contributes to the development and growth of the local flower market, promoting a culture for flowers consumption among Kenyans. It has created employment, diverse and sustainable livelihoods among the youth in Kenya.

Further, it brands Nairobi as the capital of an internationally acknowledged lead country in the growing and exportation of cut flowers. Kenya currently supplies more than 40% of cut flowers sold in Europe and has developing markets in Russia, the Far East and America.

National Export Development Strategy

The Kenya Flower Council attended the 2nd stakeholders meeting on January 14, 2015 organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to discuss the development of a national Export Development Strategy.

Kenya needs a comprehensive National Export strategy that would give the general thrust on how Kenya should promote and increase its exports. The document will include inputs from all the stakeholders indicating the priority areas. The last the last National Export Strategy which was developed by the then Ministry of Trade and Industry expired in 2008 and no document has been developed since then.

A subcommittee comprising of Export Promotions Council, MFAIT, KEPSA, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and National Treasury formed to look at the existing strategy and literature available have come up come up with a framework where all stakeholders will give their inputs to reflect the current status of their sectors.

The decision to develop the Export Strategy was made by H. E the President during a meeting with the ITC Director, Arancha Gouzalez at State House. Following the instruction of the President the ITC Director later met with Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, East African Affairs, Commerce & Tourism, The national Treasury, Industrialization and Enterprise Development and Information, Communication and Technology on the same issue. A senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International trade travelled to Geneva to meet ICT officials who expressed their willingness extend technical and financial support to Kenya. The Chairman was then instructed by the Cabinet Secretary to engage relevant Ministries, Public Institutions and Sector umbrella bodies in developing the New Export Strategy document.

Automation of e-Certificate of Origin (e-COO)

In moving with the current developments on trade facilitation, KNCCI is already in the process of automation of the ordinary certificate of origin process to start issuing an e-Certificate of Origin (e-COO) with effect from January 2015.

The Chamber recently signed a Kshs 7.5 million agreement with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to support designing and development of an online portal that will automate issuance of certificates of origin. On successful roll-out of this phase, the chamber intends to take over from KRA the issuance of the preferential Certificates of origin ( EUR-1, GSP-A, COMESA etc) through the same portal.

The automation proposal has the following processes for the e-COO;

a. Online registration of members and non-members. b. Online application of certificate of origin. c. Online approval of e-COO. d. Online and mobile payment services. e. Online verification process. f. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting process.

The e-COO will have enhanced security features such as holograms, barcodes and watermarks with online automatic generated serial numbers. The Chamber will use automation to leverage on Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) to improve service delivery.

The e-COO will be interfaced with the Kenya National Single Window System so that the Chamber and other institutions on trade facilitation can jointly be interconnected. In the region, Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture have an online system of COO on both ordinary and preferential Certificate of Origin.

The e-COO will operate both with internet and without internet due to installation of an offline module so that users can apply for export documentation wherever they are whether there is internet connectivity or not. Before implementation of the platform, user acceptability testing will be done to incorporate your views.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) issues Certificates of Origin based on the following criteria to all exporters.

a. Presentation of a Certificate of Origin (COO) b. Exporters Customs code c. A copy of pin certificate d. A brief company profile and products scope with company business location. e. Company tax compliance certificate

For inquiries, contact: peter.biwott@kenyachamber.or.ke

Chamber of Commerce to digitalize its processes, and automate issuance of certificate of origin

January 9, 2015January 9, 2015

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has signed a Kshs 7.5 million agreement with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) to support designing and development of an online portal that will automate issuance of certificates of origin.

The project will first see the automation of the ordinary certificate of origin currently being issued by the chamber. On successful roll-out of this phase, the chamber intends to take over from KRA the issuance of the preferential Certificates of origin ( EUR-1, GSP-A, COMESA etc) through the same portal.

The development of the portal is in response to the challenge exporter’s face in accessing manual certificates of origin, including delays. In addition, it will enhance security of the export documents. The automation is in line with trade facilitation objectives of Kenyan Government and the realization of the National Single Window System.

Subject to the approval processes, the automation aims at reducing the processing time to about 1 Hour. As the Kenya Flower Council, we welcome this move which we hope will provide a once and for all solution to fresh produce exporter’s challenges with the EUR-1 and GSP Certificates of origin.

Hope restored for the vibrant flower industry as 2015 kicks off

January 7, 2015January 7, 2015

The European Union Commission Regulation 1387-2014 reinstating Kenya on duty-free access to the EU market as of December 25, 2014 was published on December 24, 2014 in the Official Journal of the EU. This was the best Christmas gift the flower industry could receive. The news has brought a sigh to the many exporters who were hit hard by the duties since October 1, 2014. It marked the end of the exporter’s anxieties over the last decade.

This came after both the European Parliament and the Council formally expressed their ‘non-objection’ to the proposed Commission Delegated Act reinstating Kenya on duty-free access to the EU market under the Market Access Regulation (MAR).

Graciously, the EU decision-makers fast tracked its internal processes and reduced the normal 2 months institutional scrutiny period to 1 month, paving the way for Kenya to return to duty-free status by end of 2014 instead of end of January 2015 as initially anticipated.

Kenya Flower Council (KFC) together with Union Fleurs tirelessly lobbied on the reinstatement of Kenya to Market Access Regulation (MAR) and today, comfortably and without a doubt, the industry can now enjoy the fruits. KFC thanks the Union Fleur for investing ample time in following up on the EAC EU EPA progress. The timely reinstatement came as exporters warmup for Valentine’s Day 2015, the flower industry’s peak season.

Notably, the reinstatement of the duty-free status for all Kenyan exports to the EU market under the EU Market Access Regulation (MAR) is subject to a maximum period of validity of 2 years within which the signature and ratification of the EU-EAC EPA must be completed on both sides. Efforts shall therefore be continued to ensure that the current momentum will be kept and that the ratification process will take place smoothly in the coming months both in the EU and in the EAC countries.

When the EPA will be fully ratified on both sides, the terms of the agreement between the EU and EAC will be of a perpetual permanent nature and shall help promote long-term stability and visibility in the trading and investment relationship between the EU, Kenya and the other EAC countries.

Change of origin certificate

Following the reinstatement shipments are now supported by a EUR1 certificate of origin to benefit from duty-free customs clearance into the EU. For those shipments that left Kenya before the entry into force of the duty change and were custom cleared on or after December 25, 2014, the exporters in Kenya may apply to the Kenyan customs authorities for retrospective issuing of the EUR 1 in order to benefit from free access to the EU market. The EUR 1 forms issued retrospectively shall be accepted by the customs authorities of the EU Member States.

To the exporters; do let us know if there any difficulties experienced during this switch

The text is available here in all EU languages: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.369.01.0035.01.ENG