After three years of Covid-19-induced absence, the International Flower Trade Expo, IFTEX, 2022 is set to be held in Nairobi Kenya this year. The expo will bring together more than 125 Kenyan and international exhibiting companies and international flower buyers and visitors from over 40 countries where Kenya sells its flowers to.
This year’s IFTEX is particularly special, as it comes at a time when, besides the pandemic, the industry is facing a host of challenges from climate change, freight and high cost of doing business. Beyond the exchange of flowers and sealing of deals, the show will have industry players reflect on emerging issues, exchange ideas and discuss about the future of the industry.
The President of HPP International Group, the organizers of IFTEX, Mr. Dick van Raamsdonk, in an exclusive interview with HortFresh, discusses the IFTEX comeback, what buyers and exhibitors should expect from this year’s expo, emerging issues affecting the flower industry and what the future portends for IFTEX and the floriculture industry.
What should exhibitors, sellers and participants expect at this year’s IFTEX?
This will be a great exhibition where buyers and growers will meet under one roof. It will not just be about buying and selling flowers, but most importantly it will be an exchange of information where industry players will discuss about issues affecting the industry including freight, prices, inputs, materials, markets, and the future of the industry. In such trying times, businesses require support and compliments to keep going and that is what this year’s IFTEX is offering.
What has been the impact of COVID on your operations and how will the new way of life shape your business moving forward?
The pandemic has impacted on energy cost, demand which went down, transport, capacity among other areas. The world as we know it has changed. The consumer is thinking differently. As HPP, we are adjusting to the changes occasioned by COVID-19 by bringing the flower industry players together so that they can talk face to face because we are facilitators. We are entering a new world era. It will get worse before it gets better, so we have to keep evolving and adjusting to the changing times. After three years of absence, the players in the industry are looking forward to meeting again and discussing the industry dynamics. Among these issues include; climate change which is a big deal nowadays and is having a major impact on the industry. Air transport and emissions are also a key issue. Europe is tightening the law on reducing emissions of CO2 so as an industry we have to look at other means of transportation which will ultimately impact the industry. This exhibition might be the most important to happen in Kenya because of the changes that have been occasioned by the pandemic and other emerging issues.
How many participants are we expecting and from which markets?
We will have participants from 40 countries either exhibiting or visiting spanning from Europe, Middle East among others.
What role would you say IFTEX plays in growing the global flower industry?
IFTEX is one of the key exhibitions in the floriculture industry because we are in the key production countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia Columbia, Ecuador.
This is the first post COVID expo. What has been the response by exhibitors and the other participants compared to the other years pre-COVD?
At first, they were hesitant but we are now getting more requests and confirmations from exhibitors and visitors to participate. The industry players are eager to reconnect after years of pandemic-induced hiatus.
This exhibition will be about letting the world know where countries and the flower industry in general are standing in the wake of the emerging issues. What has changed? How has the industry performed? It is also a chance for reconnecting on the floor by people and products in a new world with new threats and opportunities. The exhibition will therefore give new answers and guidance that growers and buyers should embrace.
Monday May 30, 2022
09:00 hrs. - 10:00 hrs.
10:00 hrs. - 18:00 hrs.
Tuesday May 31, 2022
10:00 hrs. - 18:00 hrs.
Wednesday June 1, 2022
10:00 hrs. - 16:00 hrs.
Visa Oshwal Center
Ring Road Parklands