Fresh produce exporters to the European Union are hopeful of a deal in the ongoing crunch talks among the five East African Community members over the signing of the long-standing trade deal with the EU.

The Kenya Flower Council has warned that failure to sign and ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement pact before the October 1 deadline will expose flowers, fruits, vegetables and other horticulture to duties and quotas of between 4.5 per cent and 19.5 per cent.

“We are hopeful the deal will not fail because it will be very punitive,” Kenya Flower Council CEO Jane Ngige said. This will affect more than 200 horticulture exporters, manufacturers and fisheries, in a move that could lead to job losses.

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