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Kenya’s flower standards to be set by end of 2015

The Kenya Flower Council flower announced that it will have a certification program in place for all players in the industry by the end of 2015. Jane Ngige, the council’s chief executive officer, told a news conference in Nairobi that the move will help the Kenyan flowers to meet the stringent rules of the importing nations.

All exporters of flowers in Kenya should demonstrate compliance to international standards by the end of 2015, Ngige said, as reported in a business newsletter. She said the Dutch government has provided $400,000 for implementation of the program.

Kenyan flowers currently account for 40 percent of all European Union floral imports. The domestic industry includes 100 major flower farms and 3,000 small-scale growers. Ngige said the code of conduct is an industry initiative that will improve labor practices and environmental conservation efforts of the sector. “Under the new regulations, all flower growers will have to employ internal quality-control auditors,” Ngige said, according to the news report.

“The rules will apply to all flower growers whether they are members of KFC or not,” she said, noting that the industry is shifting to using bio-controls to eliminate pests and other flower diseases. Only 5 percent of floral exports are inspected by the destination countries. “This is a reduction from 100 percent in the 1990s,” she said. But if non-compliance is found, inspections will rise, she added.