October 26, 2019: After the successful Flower Logistics Africa 2019, the third edition of Perishable Logistics Africa (PLA) was conducted at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, bringing together key stakeholders in the perishables supply chain. Discussions on the theme ‘Together for Better Logistics: Collaboration Key to Enhancing Africa’s Perishable Export’ amplified the need for infrastructure development in order to broaden our perishables markets.

The need for collaboration between African nations and harmonising standards was identified as key to accessing markets. Speaking on the topic of sustainable practices for bringing down costs and increasing margins, Peter Musola, cargo commercial manager at Kenya Airways noted that a lot of the perishable products being produced are homogenous, which leads to huge wastage. According to Musola, Kenya Airways is reducing the intra-Africa freight costs as a way of enabling the trading market within Africa. “Kenya is well-positioned to achieve more, but we can take it a notch higher with more collaborations,” he added.

PLA also discussed exploring new markets, and looking beyond the traditional avenues. As the speakers observed, the two most critical aspects that can lead to success when exploring new markets are compliance from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and extensive market research. “For farmers, it's imperative that they source their materials and seeds from reputable sources since it prevents spread of diseases and guarantees quality products for export,” said Patrice Ngenga, the technical, standards & compliance officer at the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya.

As all sectors are embracing technology through various digital enablers such as blockchain technology, farmers and other stakeholders in the supply chain value are seeing the need to invest in the right technology in order to minimise errors as well as make accurate projections regarding their products. In an earlier address, Jacob Bwana, the cargo commercial manager at Kenya Airports Authority reiterated this by saying that, "We should embrace data sharing through e-commerce along the supply chain to enhance visibility. This will enable us to provide both soft and hard infrastructure to facilitate the export trade of goods, especially perishables at our airports.”

The event which was organised by Logistics Update Africa was sponsored by Kenya Airports Authority, Holland Flower Alliance, Saudia Cargo and many more. The conference was also supported by industry associations such as Kenya Flower Council (KFC), KEPHIS, Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA), and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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