Featured Past Articles

Are you doing everything right, but your flowers still don’t last as long as they should? It could be your water. By Terril A. Nell, Ph.D., AAF Research Director, American Floral Endowment

Flowers live or die based on the availability of water to stems, leaves and blooms. Indeed, water stress may be the most significant factor affecting vase life in cut flowers. Flowers die prematurely when the amount of water being absorbed is lower than the amount lost from the leaves, stems and blooms. Research has shown that several factors can lead to reduced water absorption, including bacteria, air blockages and water quality, especially water pH. Poor water quality can reduce the amount of water absorbed. Without water, individual cells cannot function. This is particularly critical for cut flowers that must get water from a bucket or vase solution. Flowers open by using water to enlarge the petal cells, just as air inflates a balloon. New petal cells are not produced after harvest, so a continuous flow of water is needed by the flower if it is to open fully and remain viable for seven days. Sugars from flower foods in bucket/vase water supply energy to supplement the flower’s naturally occurring sugars.

Sustainability & Market
Astronomical air freight rates and space constraints in air cargo postpandemic continued to challenge the flower and perishables sector this year in Africa. Can infrastructure upgrades, collaboration, more air connections, cold storage facilities, government support, and new markets spell good tidings for the flower and fresh industry of Africa?

Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Ghana are some of the African nations that lead in both flowers, fruits and vegetables (perishables) supply to the world. The rapid development witnessed in these two sectors has driven domestic economic growth, grown investment and provided a plentitude of job opportunities to locals.

The signing of the framework of cooperation between Kenya Flower Council and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was to strengthen the efforts in 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 KFC board Mr. Richard Fernandes signing the framework

Recently the Government of the Netherlands and Kenya Flower Council signed a Framework of Cooperation on 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 this framework during the opening of the International Floriculture Trade Exhibition (IFTEX) at Oshwal Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

25 years of innovative cooling and freezing solutions

Celtic cooling was established in 1997 by owner Joost Van Klink. Since then our company developed into professional refrigeration business with an excellent market position and reputation in the sector. We followed our customers abroad and in addition to our modern headquarters in Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands, we have four branches worldwide in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Kazakhstan.

Our Specialties
We have experience in the design and installation of bespoke refrigeration and freezer installations, and air conditioning systems and turkey solutions for every possible purpose. Our customers come from various industrial sectors in the Netherlands as well as abroad. We set great score by building an enduring relationship with our customers and we enjoy anticipating their needs.

By manipulating environmental conditions, and paying equal attention to temperature and humidity, greenhouse growers can improve the quality of their crops and maximise yields.

Greenhouse climate control involves optimising the elements to maximise yield at the lowest possible cost, and to do this properly, growers need to understand the effect of vapour pressure deficit (VPD) on plant growth.

VPD, explains Van Rooyen, is the difference between the amount of moisture within a plant’s leaves and the air surrounding the plant. It drives various plant processes, such as transpiration, the opening of stomata, and the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and nutrients.

The past two and half years have seen the world grapple with some of the biggest challenges facing humanity in recent times. Kenya and Kenya’s floriculture industry was not spared by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whilst demand for our products remained strong, after getting over the initial shock of Covid, freight or should I say lack of freight capacity coupled with massive hikes in freight rates, introduction of more stringent taxation, the industry grappling with control of the False Codling Moth (FCM) has made the last period challenging.

Despite these challenges, the industry adapted, as it does and performed remarkably well over the last two and half years.

Augusto Solano with Richard Fox

Augusto Solano succeeds outgoing President Richard Fox (Kenya Flower Council, Kenya), who has served on the Union Fleurs Board of Directors since 2008 and held the position of Vice-President from 2014 to 2018 and President since 2018.

Richard Fox was the first representative of a non-European member country to hold the presidency in the 60 years of existence of Union Fleurs. The Board of Directors and members of Union Fleurs are immensely grateful to Richard Fox for his outstanding service and highly valuable contribution to Union Fleurs over the past 14 years and for his achievements in promoting the collective mission of Union Fleurs, as well as for his relentless efforts over the years to secure the continuation of the free trade of floricultural products, particularly between Kenya, the EU and the UK. They also acknowledge his long-standing dedication in promoting socially and environmentally sustainable business practises both in Kenya and globally as representative of the trade on behalf of Union Fleurs on the Board of Directors of FSI, the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative from its inception in 2013 to 2022.