An estimated 6,000 delegates, stakeholders and investors have convened in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2019 edition of a high-profile event dubbed the International Flower Trade Expo (IFTEX)
Nairobi is hosting the global multi-billion-dollar flower industry fraternity for the three-day affair.
The event comes at a time when the industry is looking at the future of auctions in a world that is increasingly inclining towards direct marketing and the impact this is having on Kenyan flowers in the global market.
The event is set to review the impact direct flights between Kenya and the United States (US) have had on the Kenyan floriculture industry.
In 2018, Kenya Airways, the country’s national carrier, announced the beginning of daily direct flights between Kenya and New York.
At the time, Sebastian Mikosz, Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director, said that the flights would contribute to Kenya’s and East Africa’s economic growth.
The trans-Atlantic flights between Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York last about 15 hours eastbound and 14 hours westbound on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking a maximum of 234 passengers per flight.
Now Kenya’s flower industry, whose largest market is Europe, has been given an opportunity to deepen its influence in the United States.
The ongoing IFTEX event hopes to showcase opportunities that the direct flights have brought about.
The event’s opening ceremony was this week co-officiated by Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary for Kenya’s State Department of Trade and Flora Holland CEO, Mr. Steven van Schilfgaarde.
IFTEX stakeholders are expected to announce new developments within the flower industry as the event continues this week.