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The EU continues to set and re-set pesticide and fungicide Maximum Residue Level (MRLs) at far stricter levels than internationally agreed standards. ACP exporters serving EU markets have no option but to comply or exit the EU market. Freshfel’s call for ‘better defined international standards’ to facilitate EU fruit and vegetable exports, since uneasily with the unilateral standard setting practiced by the EU, which regularly presents new compliance challenges for ACP fruit and vegetable exporters. This raises important policy issues regarding the EU’s role in the de facto setting of international standards and the limitations of SPS chapters and institutional mechanisms established under trade ACP-EU FTAs for ensuring EU markets remain open to ACP products which comply with agreed international regulatory standards.

The current Covid-19 disruptions of Kenyan exports to Europe, particularly along triangular supply chains to the UK, highlights the importance of shortening supply chains by wherever possible, contracting with the final retailer and shipping products directly. For exporters who can get to grip with current logistical challenges, rising EU demand for fruit and vegetables and rising prices could yield commercial benefits to counter-balance some of the Covid-19 disruptions. This is particularly the case since labour shortages in the fruit and vegetable sectors as a result of disruptions to labour flows could depress fruit and vegetable production throughout 2020.

With nearly 40% of Kenya’s direct exports to the UK currently benefitting from significant margins of tariff preferences, concerns have arisen around the UK’s current MFN tariff review and the future basis for Kenya’s continued duty-free access to the UK market after 1st January 2021. In addition, there are growing concerns about the future commercial viability of the use of triangular supply chains for the delivery of Kenyan short shelf life products to the UK market if no comprehensive EU/UK trade agreement is in place by 1st January 2021. Any future EU/UK trade agreement would need, as far as possible, to replicate the current frictionless trade, on which the operation of these triangular supply chains depends. This is looking increasingly unlikely. The Government of Kenya thus faces a triple challenge in ensuring a continuation of current patterns of exports to the UK market into 2021.

Parties, functions and weddings have been called off and event planners pulled the plug en masse, cancelling all orders of flowers.

Flower farmer are staring at disaster if disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic continue to august. The pandemic has hit supply chains including major retailers and the event industry.

Local flower farmers discussed with the Floriculture Magazine the devastation the flower farming industry is experiencing due to lack of demand from consumers, cancelled orders from industry outlets and transportation line shutdowns.

“Almost the entire market has collapsed. Technically, our industry has been on lockdown for a while,” said a flower grower, whose business over the last one month has just disappeared.

Since the government declared the pandemic a national disaster and limited public gatherings to 15 people, flower producers ceased almost all of their operations.

Parties, functions and weddings have been called off and event planners pulled the plug en masse, cancelling all orders of flowers.

His Excellency Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, Farmer number one for those who grew up in 80s and 90s, a flower farmer and chairman to one of the fastest growing group in the sector, former president and crusader for agriculture as a whole, was promoted to glory on Tuesday, February 4, peacefully. He was 95. All the flowers used during the occasion came from his farms. It was a fitting salute to his dedication, not only to his farms, but to the industry he loved.

True be said, the industry lost an international investor the flower industry, an enthusiastic educator, a devoted volunteer and a friend to many.

The Flower industry is but one of many sectors who will feel an enormous void with Mzee Moi’s passing. “Mzee Moi was a prolific contributor of practical, easily relatable and accurate GAPs, both as government policy and as a farmer. In more than 20 years of working close to Mzee Moi’s farms, they are professionally run and most of the other farms have benefited immensely from their professionality. I have also learnt a lot every time I visit them.

Due to the impact of the 2019- CoV, the 2020 China International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair (Flower Expo China) will be rescheduled for a new date and venue.

The event was originally slated for March 16th-18th, 2020 at Guangzhou International Sourcing Center, and is now moved to May 11th-13th, 2020 at Hall 3 - Hall 4 at Guangzhou Poly World Trade Center Expo.

Coronavirus impacts international flower trade
“Gesundheit startet hier!” That’s what the disinfection gel dispensers read at the IPM Essen last week. The Chinese hall was empty during the Fruit Logistica show in Berlin. The effects of the coronavirus outbreak in the industry though are more broad.

Since the Chinese holidays are extended and many flights are canceled, projects will be delayed. Due to the coronavirus the trade at the markets is shut down as well: with no logistics and no trade on the markets, the market is silent. We spoke to several people in the industry to learn more about the situation and the impact on the international horti- and floriculture industry - particularly now, in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

"Dr Lisbeth Riis, founder and CEO at Scarab Solutions, has explained how the cut flower industry can significantly benefit by replicating the principles of digital mapping of pests and diseases to the plants in their greenhouses Using satellites, GPS tracking and mapping software to create Geographic Information Systems, very detailed maps were produced from the data collected.”

Pest and disease mapping in any environment has far-reaching effects. Thirty years ago, wild poliovirus was present in more than 125 countries and paralysed 350,000 people every year, primarily young children. Now incredibly targeted tracking and mapping efforts, combined with a global immunisation program by Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), have reduced the number of cases by more than 99 per cent, saving more than 13 million children from paralysis.

Lessons learned from human diseases can be applied to horticulture
It seems that while these advanced techniques are now prevalent for human diseases, not enough has changed in the cut flower greenhouses in Africa and Latin America, where a large amount of the world’s cut flowers are grown. Mapping of pests and diseases in horticulture is still often a manual, inaccurate and inefficient process relying on paper-based analysis and individual knowledge.

Typical farmers expect to lose five to 10 per cent of yield to pest and diseases, which is why effective control can greatly increase the number of plants sent for harvest in the first place. Not only do they benefit in terms of the total yield—but they can also better focus staff and resources on the farm and even limit wastage of pesticides and biological control agents.