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Almaz Ganiev about exporting Kenyan roses to Russia:
'Kenyan roses not replacing those from South America'Roses with long stems, large head sizes and a good quality. In Russia, this is how they used to describe a rose. However, their perception and requirements regarding roses changed when Kenyan roses with intermediate head sizes entered the market. Partly due to the crisis, the demand for these types of roses increased; and according to flowers exporter Almaz Ganiev of Milele Flowers, it has been a sharp increase. They mainly supply Russia and the former Soviet countries with Kenyan flowers and since January 2016, their volumes have increased sixfold.
Stella Kabiro and Almaz Ganiev at the IFTEX in Nairobi, Kenya.
Intermediate head sizes
Russians used to go for South American roses, the ones with long stems, large head sizes and good quality. However, according to Ganiev, the demand for Kenyan roses and roses with intermediate head sizes in particular increased sharply. "Kenya also produces large head roses, but often cannot meet the quality of these South American roses. Quality is a major requirement for the Russian buyers, but due to the crisis, prices became an important requirement too. And the intermediate head sized roses combine both; they have good quality and can be supplied for lower prices. And the same goes for the Kenyan spray roses. These types of roses are also well demanded," says Ganiev.
As these Kenyan roses are cheaper and have high quality, will they overtake the position of the South American roses? According to Ganiev, they will not. "The Kenyan roses are used for different purposes. They are, for example, often used by florists to make the 'cheaper' compositions and by flower shop owners to attract buyers. They are promoting the Kenyan flowers on a sign outside their shop. These rose prices are lower than the rose prices that people are used to. It makes them curious. In the shop, next to the Kenyan roses, a wide range of flowers is being offered, including roses from South America.
Trend to continue in 2017
For 2017, Ganiev expects the positive trend of 2016 to continue. "We expect to increase our volumes to Russia and to explore new markets in Russia. Besides that, we would like to discover new markets in the former Soviet countries like Kazakhstan, Belarus, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan", says Ganiev.
But first of all, they have to prepare for the first important days of the year, namely Valentine's Day on February 14, followed by Women's Day on March 8th. "The preparations are in full swing and the orders are coming in."
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