On the Flower Trail
By Truck and Airfreight around the World
Author: Gesine Mueller
Globalization has not spared the flower industry. The rose has long since followed the call of the climate and low labor costs in other continents. Kenya is now one of the major growing regions of this thorny but beautiful queen of flowers. While coffee and tea were the African state’s major export earners years ago, flowers have meanwhile outperformed these merchandise categories.
Seventy per cent of the rose farms are owned by Kenyans. Whereas ten years ago these flower farms made headlines because of poor working conditions and pesticide incidents, European importers are now keeping a sharp eye on the protection of workers. The damage to image of this sensitive product would be far too high.
This is why consumer labels such as “FFP – Fair Flowers and Plants” are to guarantee fair working conditions, protection of health and adequate wages. After all, seventy per cent of the roses are air-freighted to Europe on the same day they were picked. So far, the sector has not recorded any declines in sales, and the product is proving to be resilient to crises.
The Dutch auction house in Aalsmeer is one of the major global trading hubs. Twenty million flower stems and two million pot plants change hands on a daily basis, which translates into 60,000 transactions or 300 sales concluded per minute. New markets like Russia and Mexico are also ordering their goods from Kenya.
year of production: 2007