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Kenya to host the 11th IFTEX attracting buyers from 75+ countries

Published: May 9, 2024

Left to Right: Isaac Macharia, Principal Inspector, Plant Pathologist at Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Dick van Raamsdonk, General Director, HPP Exhibitions, Clement Tulezi, CEO, Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and Christine Chesaro, Director, Horticultural Crop Directorate (HCD) during the media briefing on the status of the kenyan flower industry.

NAIROBI – Kenya set to host the global flower trade fraternity in Nairobi, June 4-6 2024 stamping the country’s growing dominance in the sector.

Kenya is once again set to host the global flower trade fraternity in Nairobi, on June 4-6 2024, stamping the country’s growing dominance in the sector. Speaking to the press, the International Flower Trade Exhibition (IFTEX) organizer Dick Raamsdonk said the leading flower grower in Africa has braved challenges facing the industry globally to continue producing the widest range of new varieties, a development that has kept buyers returning to Nairobi every year for the past 10 years to meet producers in search of the latest releases. “The flower industry is like fashion. Consumers are always looking for something new- colours, shapes, names, stem lengths and more”, he said.

Owing to Kenya’s advanced flower production and logistics value chain, geographical position astride the Equator, good tropical weather, different altitudes and availability of labour, among other factors, the country produces the highest range of quality mixes of flowers throughout the year making the nation a key supplier of flowers globally, Van Raamsdonk said in Nairobi.

This year’s IFTEX, will be the 11th since the show opened its doors in 2012, and comes at a time Kenya is gaining traction, not just as producer but a flower logistics hub with large distribution chains establishing bouquet-making hubs under a concept called “packed at source’’, taking root here.  This essentially means value-addition is now expanding in the country creating more jobs and transferring technology. “This is an indication Kenya will, in future, be the major flower business hub”, said Dick Raamsdonk.  

According to Clement Tulezi, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Flower Council that is partnering with IFTEX,  the flower exhibition offers the industry a platform to showcase latest  innovations that have placed Kenya in a vantage position. “Innovations and sustainability are the factors keeping our flowers ahead, and the interest in IFTEX from all corners of the world is an indicator of better times for Kenya”, he said.

IFTEX, among other major trade shows organized by HPP of Netherlands is among the top three other exhibitions held in Holland and Ecuador.  Kenya, being the largest source of all flowers sold in Europe is an important source of the multi-billion dollar produce. The country supplies 40 per cent of the European flowers with other statistics indicating, for every 10 stems in a bouquet, four are from Kenya.

As a buyer’s show, IFTEX attracts a pool of buyers keen to meet growers at the country of origin to cement sentimental relationships. Flowers are an emotional business at all levels. From workers in the farms all the way to the vases, flowers evoke emotions. When buyers see many flowers on display under one roof, it gives them wider choices for their consumers, keeping the industry moving, added Raamsdonk.   

With breeders releasing new varieties, IFTEX 2024, has attracted buyers from more than 75 countries from Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, US and South and Central America.

The numbers

  • IFTEX is among the top three flower trade fairs globally.
  • 16% increase in exhibitions compared to last year, growing from 159 to 184.
  • 25% increase in flower growers stands from 59 to 74.
  • Growers exhibiting in this year’s edition represent nearly 90 per cent of all hectares dedicated to cut flower cultivation in Kenya.

Responding to evolving travel preferences, IFTEX has shifted its schedule from Wednesday to Friday, to now commence on Tuesday and conclude on Thursday. This adjustment reflects extensive research into the changing habits of the international trade show attendees, who increasingly prefer returning home before the weekend, exploring flower farms post-show as well as go sight-seeing Kenya’s great tourist attractions among these the Nairobi National Park.  

Parting shot

Finally, we are really optimistic about the results of the 3rd edition of IFTEX, after the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember what we said after COVID-19: 2022 marked a comeback, in 2023 we got back on track and this year, 2024, we are in full bloom.

Source: Hortibiz Daily




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