Flower exporters forecast rosy Valentine’s Day
Published on: February 09, 2021 03:30 (EAT)
Local flower exporters expect better tidings from this year’s Valentine’s Day sales in contrast to last year.
According to the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Clement Tulezi, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the horticulture sector has learnt to navigate challenges presented by the global health crisis.
“2020 was worse off as we already had the virus spreading in the rest of the world. It was not strange that we didn’t have a good Valentine’s then,” he told Citizen Digital
“While we may still be in the COVID season, there is still movement of produce in terms of new orders which have been much better than those seen in 2020 when we had a lot of market apprehension from buyers.”
The week running to Sunday is the biggest sales period for cut flower exporters with the bulk of the sub-sector’s revenue across the year streaming from Valentine’s Day alone.
Flower exporters will be out to beat their Sunday orders between Tuesday and Wednesdays with orders later than February 10 being unlikely to hit the market by the end of the week.
The bulk dispatches will be done against evolving headwinds including limited freight capacity and deteriorating weather in Europe as the winter season hits its climax in the Northern Hemisphere.
According to the KFC, flower exporters are seeing up to 90 per cent of orders in the pre-pandemic era in contrast to a low 25 per cent in March last year.
The horticulture industry has continued to evolve out of the shocks resulting from the pandemic with production and output inside Kenyan flowers farms gradually rebounding.
“We have learnt to be more resilient while our buyers have learnt that they need to continue supporting us,” added Tulezi.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Monetary Policy Committee survey on flower farms conducted in January, all flower farms have now returned to operations in contrast to only 56 per cent in April and May last year.
Moreover, employment in flower farms has recovered to exceed pre-COVID-19 levels at 113 per cent.
The value of fresh produce exports from Kenya including flowers grew by five per cent to Ksh.151.2 billion to weather the storm of disruptions according to the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC).
Nearly 95 per cent of Kenyan cut flowers are consumed by a foreign consumer base with the balance covering domestic demand.