Kenya and Netherlands strengthen the transportation of flowers by the sea
The Government of the Netherlands and Kenya Flower Council have signed a Framework of Cooperation on the adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya.
The Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Maarten Brouwer, and the Chairman of the Kenya Flower Council board Mr. Richard Fernandes signed the framework during the opening of the International Floriculture Trade Exhibition (IFTEX) at Oshwal Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
The signing of the framework of cooperation between the Kenya Flower Council and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is set to strengthen the efforts in the adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya.
To realize this, a full-time position of an agro-logistics coordinator has been developed to coordinate the initiative. The incumbent will be based at Kenya Flower Council for two years.
How will this affect business?
- Cooperation on logistics
The framework of cooperation is a continuation of the cooperation between Kenya and the Netherlands in logistics.
This cooperation was emphasized during the April 2022 visit to Kenya by Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation Ms. Liesje Schreinemacher. Together with Cabinet Secretary of Transport H.E. James Macharia, EGH, they signed a Letter of Intent on the shared ambition to improve the connection of ports through a ‘Cool Logistics Corridor’ on the 4th of April 2022.
Earlier, The Netherlands commissioned a study to gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of sea freight developments in Kenya and the impact of its agro-sector study on sea freight opportunities to accelerate Kenya’s agricultural exports.
- Kenya’s global competitiveness
By combining both air and sea transport, Kenya would be well-positioned to become the East-African perishable hub and ready for the future.
It is however important to incorporate the supply chain requirements of perishable goods in new infrastructures. For instance, Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), ports, and container depots as well as realizing efficient customs clearance procedures for perishable goods leaving Kenya for example. There is know-how and expertise in the Netherlands geared towards achieving this.
Within the Framework of Cooperation, the Kenya Flower Council and the Netherlands committed to working on the adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya, which will lead to clear benefits for the Kenyan public and private sectors.
The transition for Kenya to become the East-African perishable hub will not only lead to more jobs (SDG 8) but also a significant reduction in the carbon footprint (SDG 13).
- Kenya and the Netherlands’ history in trade
Kenya and the Netherlands have long-standing cooperation that spans over 40 years. Kenya has been a large horticulture producer and exporter for decades, bringing the country significant forex earnings and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Most of the export comprises flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
The Netherlands, being the biggest horticulture trader in the world is a strong trade partner for Kenya. The Netherlands highly values the horticultural trade relationship with Kenya and sees big opportunities in realizing reliable sea freight for perishables.
Key to the success of the Framework will be the close collaboration between the key stakeholders including both governments of Kenya and the Netherlands, logistics companies, trade associations, growers, exporters, and other relevant private sector players.
Both countries have much to gain from further developing the Kenyan sea freight capacity.
Investments done by the Kenyan government in port and inland networks provide opportunities for a logistics infrastructure that supports the adoption of agricultural exports to sea freight.
The Netherlands has the technical expertise in this area and looks forward to working together with Kenya in the development of cold logistics for sustainable trade.