April 28, 2020: Kenya Airways carried 300 bouquets of flowers to London, United Kingdom to show empathy amid the coronavirus pandemic that has left more than 20,000 dead in the European country. It is part of a campaign dubbed 'Flowers of Hope' informed by the realities brought forth by how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting world economies.

The campaign kicked off a month ago by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) members, Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Elgon Kenya, Kenya Airways and Jambo Jet and partners of KEPSA as a uniting symbol to show solidarity and compassion emerging in Kenya and indeed the world as a response to the Covid-19. The bouquets, which will be received by Flamingo Ltd, UK will be distributed to doctors and nurses on the frontline of combating Covid-19, recovering patients, and care homes.

KEPSA's CEO Carol Karuga said, "Our member, the Kenya Flower Council, has done this to show empathy and this sends a strong message of partnership at a time when many countries are facing difficulty. It is part of our campaign dubbed 'Flowers of Hope' informed by the realities brought forth by how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting world economies."

After a successful distribution in Kenya's main hospitals in Nairobi and the counties, UK distribution is the first international distribution, an important symbol as London is Kenya's traditional market for flowers.

"The campaign is a show of gratitude and support to the people at the frontline of or suffering from the pandemic, which will also help in saving thousands of farm jobs in Kenya's flower farms," added Karuga.

Meanwhile, Kenya Airways has announced that it has uplifted 40 tonnes of flowers and vegetables to Amsterdam, in a move meant to boost the sector that employs thousands of Kenyans directly and is a major contributor to the GDP. Recently, Kenya Airways has dispatched a cargo flight using B787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft from Nairobi to London loaded with 40 tonnes of fresh produce.

According to data from Kenya Flower Council, sales of cut flowers in overseas markets are below 35 percent of what we would expect at this time of the year. This is mostly driven by the European and UK markets whose local sales in florists have declined to almost zero.

Kenya Flower Council CEO Clement Tulezi said, "It is by standing together that we become stronger and endure. These are Kenyans showing their love through what Kenya does best, flowers. By donating these flowers, we are motivating people as well as preserving thousands of jobs."

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