Standardization to promote trade in the EAC region

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The Kenya Flower Council is proactively involved in various discussions on carbon foot print of product standard setting. Arising from concerns that such a standard will become a trade barrier for the exporters, the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat together with the East African Business Council (EABC) and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)  intend to use the ISO 14067 as a case for building capacity in the region for standard implementation.

The objective is to attain ownership among the private sector, to understand the future market relevance of the standard and what can future demands on carbon declarations/labelling among retailers and consumers on international markets mean for exporters from the EAC region.

During a regional workshop held on 30th to 31st August 2012, an array of stakeholders deliberated on the necessary capacity building in the region among private and public sectors, National Standards Bodies and institutions, for an efficient way of using the international standard ISO 14067.

This includes capacity to use the Life Cycle Analysis methodology according to international standards and to generate necessary and adequate Product Category Rules (PCR) for exporters in the region to access. Towards the end of the workshop, participants identified 5 EAC export products, one from each partner states, which should be used as pilot products in the implementation of the ISO 14067 standard.

For Kenya, flowers were identified as the priority product. The Swedish Agency has indicated interest to provide financial resources to support this program among the EAC countries between 2012 and 2014. A final decision should be communicated by mid‐November 2012.