he signing of a framework of cooperation between Kenya Flower Council and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is set to strengthen the efforts in adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya.
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.
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 contract during the opening of the International Floriculture Trade Exhibition (IFTEX) at Oshwal Center in Nairobi, Kenya. The incumbent will be based at Kenya Flower Council for two years. But how will the move affect business?
The framework of cooperation is a continuation on the cooperation between Kenya and the Netherlands in logistics. It was emphasized during the April 2022 visit to Kenya by Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher.
Cabinet Secretary of Transport James Macharia and Ms Schreinemacher signed a “letter of intent” on the shared ambition to improve the connection of ports through a “Cool Logistics Corridor” on April 4, 2022.
Previously, the European country commissioned a study on sea freight as a way of determining whether it was viable to accelerate Kenya’s agricultural exports. The study also aimed at helping the country gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of sea freight developments in Kenya and the impact on its agro-sector.
The transition for Kenya to become the East-African perishable hub will not only lead to more jobs (SDG 8), but also to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint (SDG 13). It will also lead to clear benefits for the Kenyan public and private sector.
By combining both air and sea transport, Kenya would be well-positioned to become the East-African perishable hub. However, it is important to incorporate the supply chain requirements of perishable goods in new infrastructures. Incorporating Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), ports, container depots as well as realizing efficient customs clearance procedures of perishable goods leaving Kenya, for example, would go a long way. There is know-how and expertise in the Netherlands geared towards achieving this.
History in trade
Kenya and the Netherlands have a 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 of flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Investments done by the Kenyan government in port and inland networks provide opportunities for a logistics infrastructure which supports 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 the cold logistics for sustainable trade. It is also important to note that, being a big horticulture trader, Netherlands is a strong trade partner for Kenya.