Royal FloraHolland: Purchasing remotely with KOA
Royal FloraHolland says that starting from 2 November it will only be possible to purchase through Remote Buying (KOA) or a KOA Buyers Workstation (KBW) (Floral Daily, 28 September). Purchasing through the buttons in the auction rooms will no longer be possible. More than 1,000 companies, spread over 5,500 remote KOA workstations, purchase on one of Royal FloraHolland’s auction clocks. They are bidding, straight from their workstation, on all auction clocks of Royal FloraHolland. Only a few buyers are not using KOA yet. Royal FloraHolland has published a brochure about the digital transformation and the first steps towards Nationwide Auctioning.
Kenya: Flower farms back to full operations
Flower farms across Kenya have now resumed full operations and all workers have been recalled after closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic (The Star, Kenya, 23 September). The employers have honoured an agreement with COTU (the Central Organization of Trade Unions) to recall all the workers who were sent on unpaid leave. The Kenya Plantations and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) said that all workers in Naivasha, which is home to tens of flower farms, had resumed duty. Kenya has about 100 flower farms. Ferdinand Juma, Secretary General in Naivasha, said they were in talks with the farmers to make sure that all the workers on unpaid leave were back on the job. A leading Naivasha farmer, Jack Kneppers, said they were currently exporting more than 220,000 roses – from zero exports in the last few months. He said all his workers had resumed duty with daily production being exported to the Netherlands. Kneppers said high air flight charges were still a problem but he was optimistic the situation would return to normal as more airlines resumed operations. CEO of the Kenya Flower Council Clement Tulezi said the sector was recovering with the EU market opening up, following the recent lockdown: “We are projecting we shall fully recover by June 2021 and already farmers have recalled their entire workforce following the troubled period.” The CEO said that the government was yet to release the KSh1.5 billion stimulus funds to cushion flower farms from the effects of the pandemic. Tulezi added that the pandemic will force some firms to merge and others to close down: “Covid-19 has exposed our vulnerability and we will have to address and reduce the cost of production to survive.”
Ethiopia: Europe becomes major destination for EXPORTS
Taking over the US and Chinese markets, European countries have become the major importers of Ethiopian commodities during the Ethiopian budget year that concluded on 7 July 2020 (New Business Ethiopia, 26 September). A new analysis by Cepheus Investment Advisory shows that the Netherlands became the biggest buyer of Ethiopian exports in FY 2019-20, absorbing $308 million (10%) of total exports. The shift, driven by a sharp rise in gold exports, also includes a rise in cut flower exports (14% of the total, mostly going to the Netherlands), a very positive reflection of the well-established air cargo services that – thanks to Ethiopian Airlines – allow for the delivery of roughly 5 million rose stems to the Dutch cut-flower auctions on a daily basis.