Kenya has sent a special consignment of 300 bouquets of flowers to the United Kingdom, as a sign of solidarity and compassion amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative under the banner, ‘Flowers of Hope’, is also aimed at conveying a strong partnership message and protecting farm jobs at a time when many countries are facing devastating economic effects.
Distributed to doctors and nurses
The flowers will be received by Flamingo Limited, UK, and will be distributed to doctors and nurses on the frontline in combating the deadly virus, recovering patients and healthcare homes
Flowers of Hope Campaign was birthed by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa), through its members, Kenya Flower Council and other flower growers as a symbol of the unity, solidarity and compassion emerging in Kenya and the world as a response to Covid-19.
After a distribution in Kenya’s main hospitals in Nairobi and the counties, the UK is the first international distribution, which is significant, as Britain is Kenya’s big traditional market for flowers.
“Our member, the Kenya Flower Council, has done this to show empathy and send 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,” said Kepsa Chief Executive Officer Carol Karuga.
The campaign, which kicked off at a presidential roundtable and was developed and implemented by Kepsa, in partnership with its members; Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Elgon Kenya, Kenya Airways and partners of Kepsa, continues to deliver scents of hope to the soldiers at the frontline in the war against the virus.
“The campaign is a show of gratitude and support to the people at the frontline of and/or suffering from the pandemic, which will also help in saving thousands of jobs in Kenya’s flower farms,” added Mrs Karuga.
Sales down by 35 pc
According to data from the KFC, 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 United Kingdom markets whose sales in florists have declined to almost zero. Retailers (supermarkets) are open for essential foodstuff and cut flowers remain on the shelves.
Floriculture is a unique industry dealing in perishables. Flower plants need to be kept alive and healthy, otherwise they will die and the industry will lose its ability to supply when the markets open up.
KFC Chief Executive Officer 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.”