The Fresh Producers Export Association of Kenya,FPEAK held their Annual General Meeting at Eka Hotel , Nairobi with keynote speakers from the Rabobank Dutch owned multinational banking and financial services provider, in the food and agriculture sector focusing on the current changes in the European Market.
Cindy Van Rijswick , analyst on fruit, vegetable and floriculture says ,‘The global outlook is positive. Brexit has no effect on the economy but a slight change on the pound could create changes in the market. There would be no effect on British consumers and also no great change between Kenya and the UK.’
Cindy Van Rijswick ,believes that the food patterns are shifting along a certain pattern, with great healthy perspective for fruit and vegetable consumption. Super foods such as the avocados are on the rise and they are contributing into healthy snacking around the world. There is an increase in consumption of summer fruits.
The floriculture market for a period between 2017 to2027 prospects a growth of 20% in Europe and Asia at 80%. ‘China is most likely to be the globe leader import nation of fresh fruits in the next decade.’ Says Cindy Van Rijswick.
Sustainability is high on the agenda, with the certification schemes, preference of ‘local products’ is growing in many markets. The supply chains are transforming to adapt to the dynamics of the market with more investors, corporate, partnerships, traceability and transparency.
With the innovations such as the introduction of robot harvesters, mechanical weeding, new tree types and the smart green houses in the Europe it is going to contribute positively to the market, however in other regions it will take time as it requires lots of high technology and most regions depend on manpower for labour.
Even with the much positive impact on the global market, growers are facing a number of challenges such on adequate resources; labour, water and fertile land. ‘Climatic changes , weather changes ,pests ,geopolitics ,food safety ,competition in the market from South America that has got more mechanized farms and data systems.’ adds Cindy Van Rijswick.
Transport and logistics is also a major issue in the market. Pricing issues are also affecting the market especially with the oversupply of products such as avocados from Peru and South America . Cindy Van Rijswick notes it is of much importance that farmers and stakeholders engage on the volume of supply and pricing as a way to curb such challenges.