Logistics industry stakeholders consider Flower & Perishable Logistics Africa 2018 as a solution provider for the industry’s logistics needs. The deliberations happening since their past editions have been giving impetus to bring in new innovations and initiatives in the logistics industry.

The Flower & Perishable Logistics Africa conferences held in Nairobi, Kenya on November 20 - 21, 2018, respectively, gathered key stakeholders across the supply chain industry to address concerns on cool chain management, technology adoption, global benchmarking and encouraging small scale farmers to grow.

At the third edition of Flower Logistics, themed as ‘Cold chain protocols and common standards, keys to Africa’s flower industry’, Clement Tulezi, CEO, Kenya Flower Council (KFC) remarked, “As we look at our business strategy in the next five years, the place of logistics has become more important in our industry. Without innovation in cold chain this industry cannot move ahead. It is not just what kind of quality or how much quantity we sell from this country. Lots of growers consult us to grow their business. We are keen on cold chain as we believe in delivering the product as fresh as they are.”

Commenting on strict cold chain guidelinesto be followed, George Mathew, group general manager, PJ Dave Flowers, said, “We must ensure some system in place that ensures cold chain doesn’t break. Our industry lacks self-regulation.”


R Mohan Choudhery, CEO, Black Tulip Group, Kenya, commented that if post-harvest handling is not done properly, damage starts from there itself.In direct sales, most flowers are stored in dry boxes; the customers expect to receive it in a healthy condition, but with the mismanagement ofcool chain, few shipments can arrive in a bad condition.

Peter Musola, cargo commercial manager, Kenya Airways commended the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for conducting the survey titled, ‘Window of opportunity for Kenya’. He believes that once Kenyan products start accessing the US markets with right cool chain practice; flower export will certainly stimulate the demand.

Standardising packaging for flowers was always a focal point since the first edition of the event as it reduces operational cost, improves lead time, brings down working capital and more consistency is seen across the supply chain. Considering the industry’s grievance, Royal Flora Holland designed a standardised box to meet the logistics challenges. Elizabeth Kimani, GM, Sian-Masaai Flowers, said, “We already incur a lot of cost on supply chain. The idea of having a standardised box sounded good; especially it came at a right time when we were struggling with volumetric weight.”


Pier Luigi Vigada, director Eastern & Southern Africa, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, stated, “In the last 10 years, there is a lot of improvement seen in the flower infrastructure in Kenya and support from the government here is massive.”

A day after Flower Logistics, the second edition of Perishable Logistics Africa deliberated on the theme, ‘Collaboration, the road ahead to improve logistics for Africa's perishable produce’. WouterBoekee, global industry manager - agriculture and fresh, Lufthansa Cargo, stated, “As an airline representative, I’m trying to visit growers, exporters, importers and freight forwarders, in order to share information and get better knowledge about their products. The industry players are very sceptical in sharing data.”

Sharing her learning from the industry, Yvonne Otieno, agriprenuer, Miyonga Fresh Greens said that it is imperative to maintain and sustain collaboration with the airlines, different agencies and supply chain stakeholders to avoid food wastage.

Speaking on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), being quite an advantageous agreement for the continent, Alice Wanjiru Mathenge, MD, Spring Fresh Growers and Exporters, commented, “AfCFTA is an encouragement to us as we can focus on our produce to different markets. The result of this agreement will be collaboration with various growers and synchronise our production.Thus, we can help each other to meeting our market demands.” With this agreement, tariffs and taxes will be removed and the stakeholders can zero in on certain margin. She continued, “We enjoy Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union (EU), which gives us opportunity to expand to European countries. EU has extended a tremendous support for African countries, but the implication of Brexit is still unknown.”


Along similar lines, William Ojonyo, chairman, Kenya International Freight & Warehousing Association (KIFWA) requested officials to keep traders in mind of that particular country while negotiating for free trade agreements (FTAs).

Whether it is for collaboration or cold chain, technology can only bridge the gap by linking the stakeholders under one roof. Ken Mbogo, regional sales director Africa, Saudia Cargo, said, “This is our seventh year in Nairobi and we have invested in technologies like cargo reservation systems. We have digitalised lot of platforms for our business to consider strategic planning.”

Liege Airport’s cloud-based platform by Nallian has a proven track record as it has already created value at Brussels Airport. Eric Gysen, cargo sales manager, Liege Airport, stated, “We are even considering an option to track temperature for the perishables at the airport itself. We are adding different applications on our platform to have an alert, if goods are lying on airside for too long.” At the same time, Liege Airport is also building a 24,000 square metre warehouse to double their capacity.

cold chain, technology

(L-R): George Mathew, Group GM, PJ Dave Flowers Group; Clement Tulezi, CEO, Kenya Flower Council (KFC); R. Mohan Choudhery, CEO, Black Tulip Group, Kenya; Peter Musola, Cargo Commercial Manager, Kenya Airways; Evans Michoma, Manager - Cargo, Kenya Airports Authority, addressed the panel on cold chain protocols.

Jane Ngige, national coordinator, Kenya Horticultural Council (KHC), opined that uplifting logistics industry is only possible if we learn and understand from other players to make ourselves competitive.

The participants from the conferences requested the stakeholders involved in the supply chain process to nurture this opportunity to collaborate. It concluded with an idea of creating a community initiative to bring in entire stakeholders to follow common standards.

Towards the end of the event, a group discussion was held to identify top three unresolved challenges and find solution for the same. The groups consisted of airlines, airports, growers, agencies and other logistics players.

The event, organised by Logistics Update Africa, was sponsored by Saudia Cargo, Holland Flower Alliance, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Airways Cargo, Liege Airport, Cargolux and Mitchell Cotts.

Wouter Boekee, Global Industry Manager - Agriculture and Fresh Lufthansa Cargo

Wico Santbulte, Director Cargo Development

(L-R): Wico Santbulte, Director Cargo Development, AFKLM Cargo; Christo van der Meer, Senior Consultant Supply Chain Innovation, Royal FloraHolland; Elizabeth Kimani, General Manager, Sian-Masaai Flowers; Art Wright, General Manager, Perishables - Panalpina; Pier Luigi Vigada, Director Eastern & Southern Africa, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo; Parit Shah, Director, Silpack; David Dass, Project Manager, FlowerWatch, discussed on new packaging concept.

Jane Ngige, National Coordinator

(L-R): Reji John, Editor, Logistics Update Africa; Eric Gysen,Cargo Sales Manager, Liege Airport; Jane Ngige, National Coordinator, Kenya Horticultural Council (KHC); Ojepat Okisegere, National Head, Fresh Produce Consortium; Srikanth Vadakattu, Director, East African Growers Group of Companies; Rogers Sultani, Country Manager, UPS ASC, discussed on the air cargo value proposition in perishables..

Spring Fresh Growers and Exporters

Miyonga Fresh Greens, addressed

(L-R): Wouter Boekee, Global Industry Manager - Agriculture and Fresh, Lufthansa Cargo; Isaac Macharia, General Manager, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate; Patrice Ngenga, Standards & Compliance Officer, Fresh Produce Exporters; Yvonne Otieno, Agriprenuer, Miyonga Fresh Greens, addressed on the collaboration needed within the supply chain industry.

Therese Puetz CEO, Karavan Management Consulting

Yvonne Otieno, Agriprenuer

(L-R): Wouter Boekee, Global Industry Manager - Agriculture and Fresh, Lufthansa Cargo; Isaac Macharia, General Manager, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate; Patrice Ngenga, Standards & Compliance Officer, Fresh Produce Exporters; Yvonne Otieno, Agriprenuer, Miyonga Fresh Greens, addressed on the collaboration needed within the supply chain industry.

Parit Shah, Director, Silpack

Parit Shah, Director, Silpack & Christo van der Meer, Senior Consultant Supply Chain Innovation, Royal FloraHolland, with Silpack’s SoliQ boxes

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