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James Norman, AFG worldwide:

"Good potential for tropical South African flowers in Ukraine"

''We see a lot of potential for the tropical South African Flowers in Ukraine", says James Norman of AFG worldwide, a company that is eager to enter the Ukrainian market. At the Flower Expo Ukraine, that took place last month, their South African flowers caught the eye of many visitors.

James Norman of African Flower Growers (AFG) World Wide exhibiting for the first time at the Flower Expo Ukraine, Kiev. They were the only South African company exhibiting at the show. At his booth, Norman presented some unusual varieties, like the range of in season Proteas such as the Madiba Red’s, Pink Ice, Susara, the King Protea Arctic Ice etc. They also had many of their Brunia and Berzelia range. The new product, tinted cotton bush provided a lot of excitement among the many floral experts at the show and generally with the ferns, mixed greens and banksias, the display was well received ( and photographed!).

Enter Ukraine market
AFG Worldwide already export tropical flowers to Russia and Kazakhstan, and now they are planning to enter the Ukrainian market. "For us, it is a natural step to include this market as one of our export markets. Of course, Ukraine is still suffering from the crisis, but we have high hopes that it will improve.'' Actually, the financial situation in the country seems to be on its way up again. They are hoping to work with one or two wholesalers, who will benefit from their support and ongoing commitment to assisting the florist Salons in developing new and exciting products. With bunches that can easily last 10 to 14 days, the supermarket industry is a target market too. There are ongoing discussions with a logistics company who will provide fast and efficient service at the airports. ''So, in the future we are hoping to supply the market directly from Africa to Borispol Kiev", he says.

High interest
At the Flower Expo Ukraine, the flowers of AFG attracted the attention of many visitors, and florists in particular. "The Ukrainian people are very flower minded and despite the crisis, they still buy flowers, however, a bit less and cheaper ones. At the show, the the new and unusual flowers caught the eye of many visitors. A lot of florists stopped by to ask what kind of flowers we are presenting. Interestingly, we noticed that there is the perception that the exotic flowers are expensive. AFG will demonstrate that when the product is flown directly from farm to Ukraine, there are many cost savings. No Agents and trucking fees and the flowers arrive much, much fresher than through the market. This also gives them a much longer shelf life, all in the interest of the end user. All in all, I think there will be a good market for our flowers here," he says.

African Flower Growers
AFG Worldwide is a South African based company that strives to be the bridge between the African growers and the clients. "The company is active in this industry for over 25 years. We source most of the products directly from growers throughout Southern Africa, but we also buy flowers at the Flower Auction in Johannesburg. Currently, we exports the flowers to 21 countries and over 45 cities worldwide, 7 days a week," says Norman.

For more information
African Flower Growers
James Norman
Email: [email protected]