IFTEX - It Is All Systems Go!

Converging all players in the global flower industry to network, engage, and trade.

By: THURSD. | 08-05-2024 | 5 min read
Floral Events Flowers Travel
IFTEX Poised for Successful Showing with All Systems in Order

As the 2024 International Floriculture Trade Exhibition (IFTEX), a significant event in Kenya’s floral sector calendar, draws near, the industry, according to stakeholders in the East African country's floriculture scene, is more than ready to host the event that offers a platform for highlighting Kenya’s role as a key player in the global flower industry.

In a press briefing in Nairobi, Dick van Raamsdonk, the CEO of HPP Exhibitions, the organizer of the event, and Kenya Flower Council (KFC) CEO Clement Tulezi expressed their optimism that the event, which takes place from Tuesday to Thursday, June 4-6, 2024, at Nairobi’s Visa Oshwal Center, will further enhance Kenya’s position as a regional - and by extension global - floral hub.

A Significant Growth in Participation at This Year’s IFTEX

IFTEX, Dick reiterated, presents a platform for all players in the flower industry to meet face-to-face and network. Through it, florists, retailers, suppliers, and floral designers, among others, have an opportunity to engage and interact with the growers of Kenya’s unique flowers, at a more physical level. 


All Systems Go for IFTEX
From left to right: Isaac Macharia, Principal Inspector and plant pathologist, KEPHIS, Dick Van Raamsdonk (HPP Exhibitions), Clement Tulezi (KFC), and Christine Chesaro, Director, HCD.


This, in turn, reinforces Kenya’s key position as an important player in the global flower trade, bearing in mind that the event is the biggest such flower fair continentally and among the largest globally. Visitors from more than 70 countries across the world are expected to attend this year’s IFTEX event, demonstrating the growth it continues to witness, after the Covid-19-induced hiatus.

Dick van Raamsdonk:

“This year, we expect a significant growth in participation from the previous years. There is a 16% increase in the number of exhibitors, from last year’s event. The number of flower growers attending has also grown by up to 25%. This has been helped by the fact that IFTEX will afford small growers exhibition stands free of charge during the event.”


It Is All Systems Go for IFTEX
IFTEX presents a platform for floral engagements and flower trade.
Photo by HPP Exhibitions


The choice of days for the event (Tuesday-Thursday), Dick says, is intentional so that visitors have an opportunity to visit and sample Kenya’s other floral offerings, such as flower farm visits, and flower safaris, or engage in eco-tourism, later after IFTEX concludes.

On his part, KFC CEO, Clement expressed his delight with the relationship and partnership between HPP Exhibitions, KFC, and other institutions such as the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), and the Horticultural Crop Directorate (HCD), in hosting the floral event.


All Systems Go for IFTEX
Airflo's booth at the 2023 IFTEX.
Photo by HPP Exhibitions


He noted that even though there have been some challenges affecting Kenya’s flower industry in recent days, it has braved these challenges in terms of logistics and some policies, and even literally weathered the storms while remaining upbeat.

Kenya’s Flower Industry Is Still Ready to Deliver the Best of Kenyan Blooms

Freight costs, for instance, Clement said, have been rather prohibitive. And the challenge was compounded by incessant heavy rains and flooding that affected Kenya, and several other countries in the past few days. But the flower industry is still raring to go and deliver the very best of its flowers to the global community.


All Systems Go for IFTEX
Photo by HPP Exhibitions


Clement Tulezi:

“We, nonetheless, believe that with the support of the Kenyan Government, we can engage with our logistics partners and find ways to address some of these challenges, especially the freight costs, given that Kenya’s flower industry is very key player for the country’s economic development. Still, the markets are very receptive to the country’s flowers, especially in Europe, where 40% of the flowers are Kenyan. IFTEX, therefore, showcases all that the country can offer to these markets and the world.”


All Systems Go for IFTEX
United Selections CEO Jelle Posthumus (left) converses with other guests at the 2023 IFTEX.
Photo by HPP Exhibitions


Even so, sustainability remains key in the floriculture world. This year, IFTEX focuses on sustainability, which is a major topic of discussion. On this, Clement acknowledges that through IFTEX, Kenya’s floral sustainability efforts have always been on the right track and will be showcased.

The country’s efforts to create efficiency at every level of flower production and logistics can be sampled by international buyers and other floral enthusiasts during the event. 


All Systems Go for IFTEX
Participants network during a previous IFTEX.
Photo by @hilverdadeboer


Clement Tulezi:

“Kenyan growers have perfected the art of growing flowers. We, therefore, will be proud to showcase our blooms, as well as the innovations and skills that we possess in the industry, to the world. We have built an innovative floriculture industry, buoyed by the optimum conditions on the equator, highly skilled labor, and our efforts to take care of our people, the environment, governance, and good agricultural practices that international buyers can have first-hand experience when they visit IFTEX.”

The industry, he also noted, is on the right track, despite the ever-changing requirements in the marketplace and the challenging local business environment. The quality of Kenyan flower produce and the diversification of the floral product range have improved significantly in the last 10 years. 


It Is All Systems Go for IFTEX
Dick and Elgon Kenya Ltd's Nelson Maina at a previous IFTEX.
Photo by @magnarirrigation.


In that regard, and when everything is held constant, Kenya is poised to solidify its position as a top producer of flowers in the world. And IFTEX just helps in enhancing this notion.

Feature and header images by HPP Exhibitions.



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