KENYA – The United Kingdom has removed customs duties on 120 imported products, including cut flowers, until 2026 sparking optimism within Kenya’s floriculture sector.

Effective from April 11 and extending for 14 months until June 2026, this move marks a significant opportunity for Kenya’s flower industry, which heavily relies on international markets for growth.

The Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET), Kenya’s umbrella organization for the agricultural sector, expressed optimism regarding the potential impact of this tariff suspension.

“With the suspension of tariffs in the UK, we are optimistic about the increase in revenues for the sector,” stated ASNET, emphasizing the positive outlook for Kenyan flower exports to the British market.

The significance of the UK market for Kenyan flowers cannot be overstated. With the UK being the second largest market for Kenyan flowers after the Netherlands, the removal of the 8% tariff is expected to enhance Kenya’s competitiveness and market share in the UK.

Data from the Trade Map platform indicates that the UK accounted for approximately 17.4% of Kenya’s flower shipments by value in 2022.

Kenya’s floriculture industry is a crucial component of the country’s economy, providing livelihoods for over 200,000 people and ranking as the second largest source of agricultural income after tea.

Renowned for its high-quality roses, Kenya’s diverse floral exports also include carnations, alstroemeria, gypsophila, lilies, eryngiums, statice, and various summer flowers.

The success of Kenya’s flower industry is exemplified by its pivotal role as a major exporter to European markets.

The Flower Corridor, connecting Nairobi to key European destinations such as Liege, Brussels, and Amsterdam, has facilitated the movement of fresh flowers, with Swissport International leading the logistics efforts.

Swissport International, a key player in Kenya’s flower logistics, attributes its success to advanced logistics infrastructure within Kenya’s interior, which ensures extended shelf life and reduced waste compared to flowers from less sustainable greenhouses in Europe.

Edwin Musungu, Head of Cargo Services at Swissport Nairobi, highlighted the company’s annual handling of millions of fresh-cut flowers during peak demand, particularly around Valentine’s Day.

Globally, Kenya holds a significant position in the international flower market, exporting 38% of flowers imported by the European Union.

In light of the UK’s tariff suspension, Kenya’s floriculture sector anticipates a period of growth and increased export revenue.

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