Kenya has been a strategic source of fresh produce for years. Since the year 2000, a number of fresh produce markets have come to complement the traditional EU market. This has led to a lot of competition but it has created a number of supply routes for importers to as far as South Africa, Kenya and Israel. But as the demand increases, so is the quality rising.
World statistics say that supply has remained no more than it was for decades, and so is the consumption rate. Nevertheless, quality is beginning to become a key feature especially in the traditional EU, Chinese and American markets. This is why there is a rise in quality features like freshness, size of produce, proper packaging and improved shelf life.
Developing countries like Kenya, Egypt and Thailand have seen the greatest advantage in the emergence of new markets. Australia, China and Japan require less scrutiny of produce than the EU. This has made especially nuts, avocado and banana producers in Africa look up to these new bases for the supply of the two fruits when there is low supply from traditional suppliers in South America and Central America.
New World Markets Emerge
Europe still remains the largest fresh produce market for Kenya. There are also countries that have marked Kenya as a key source of supplies. Thailand is one of these: it doubles as both a producer and an importer. Malaysia and South Korea have also turned into possible markets for spices, fruits and traditional vegetables. The UAE especially its cities of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are also quite promising as capable markets for fresh fruits, vegetables and fresh beans. These are for feeding an expatriate labor population predominantly from Asia and other developing regions of the world.
It is the United States, Australia and China, however, which have made a big show in new emerging markets. In the Kenya context, for instance, Australia has a deal with Kenya for large shipments of cut flowers monthly though the local airline.
The US has relaxed its demands for herbs, flowers and French beans’ shipments there. With the introduction of direct flights from Kenya, this is opening a new chapter.
For China, vegetables, fruits and fresh herbs are all in. The oriental country is now arguably the most looked to new fresh produce market. China farms a number of its own produce but this is not enough to feed the world’s biggest population of some 1.3 billion people. Furthermore, as the next biggest world economy, China wants to wrestle some of the status as a key importer. The EU, however, still ranks as one of the world’s best fresh produce markets.
So, as EU importers look south into Africa for fresh produce, especially Britain after Brexit, China, the US and Australia and a slew of newcomers like Thailand and UAE are all in. This has brought high quality produce into the market. It has also reduced the pain of produce rejection in the EU market, and brought more revenue to all farming stakeholders. Selina Wamucii is proud to be part of this emerging revolution.