Supporting Oserian’s Food Security Project
Here we see Geoffrey Moyomba, pictured with Hamish Ker, Managing Director of Oserian Flowers Ltd, delivering vegetable seeds and crop protection products to support the initiative.
As our situation with Covid-19 develops daily and our flower industry struggles under the pressures we face, there are some positive actions that have come to light.
Oserian, who employ and support many thousands more in Kenya have launched FLOWERS4FOOD, a food security project to ensure their workers continue to have food on the table throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Covid-19 grips the world, demand for cut flowers into Europe has decreased to below 35% of usual demand. Even where flowers are able to leave Kenya and get to Europe, air freight is the next challenge which is also restricted. Food takes precedence when it comes to space onboard planes.
On a typical day, 5,000 tonnes of fresh produce will be air freighted out of Kenya to other markets. We hear reports that, just 1,500 tonnes are leaving per day despite demand still being for 3,500 tonnes.
So far, The Kenyan Flower Council estimates that it is losing $300,000 a day due to the economic impact. Farms across the country are operating at roughly 10% of normal operations and as they employ around 150,000 people, this in turn equates to 6 million people being impacted through less work and money for food.
Oserian, one of the most community-conscious companies in Kenya wanted to do something to ensure their workers and families were still supported with fresh vegetables at a time when costs are increasing daily.
In turn, we wanted to support this initiative in anyway we could. Today, we donated potato, French bean, kale and tomato seed to the initiative as well as crop protection products to ensure their optimum output is achieved for the flower farm workers and their families. Neil Hellings, Managing Director of Oserian Development Company said “My sincere appreciation to your most valuable contribution to our project to help ensure we can sustain our workforce, during what we fear will be a period where staple foods experience both an escalation of price and a scarcity of supply”.
We’re proud to support this initiative and will continue to do so in any way we can.