Here it is, the photo report of the IFTEX 2019. Last Friday, the Oshwal Center closed its doors on the 8th edition of the IFTEX. At this three-day event, the stakeholders from the worldwide floriculture chain once again gathered in Nairobi. It primarily is a show which connects growers and buyers, but many horticultural suppliers also take the opportunity to network and learn more about the possibilities of floriculture in East Africa. The FloralDaily.com team were also present at the show to make a Photo Report and to interview exhibitors and visitors.
Same number of growers
Buyers are the main target group of the IFTEX. "It is all about bringing the buyers and growers together, and the more growers, the purer the exhibition." This year, nearly 200 exhibitors were presenting their products and services at the show, and the number of flower growers was about the same compared to last year - something organizer Dick van Raamsdonk is proud of. "It has been a challenging year for many growers, particularly the rose growers."
After a bit slower than usual first day - probably because of the Idd-ul-Fitr celebration in the Middle East as well as in Kenya - the second day completely compensated for the first day, with many high-quality visitors. "The number of visitors from the Middle East was lower than usual and not as many board members visited, but many companies were represented." Striking this year was the number of visitors from Australia - a country that imports a lot of Kenyan flowers. "The number of visitors from this country was higher than ever before."
The IFTEX is a well-established show and again, according to Van Raamsdonk, the quality of visitors this year was high. However, the atmosphere was a little less vivid than usual. Growers - and particularly the rose growers - have had a very challenging year, with low prices and many other setbacks that influenced their cash flow. As a result, investments also slow down.
New role exhibition
With the digitization of the world, face to face contact is getting less, which, according to Van Raamsdonk, is actually a strong point of an exhibition. On top of that, this exhibition also has become more of a market information area, where buyers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the chain get a better feeling of what's going on at the East African growers. In order to stimulate this role, HPP organized several meetings.
"Rolls-Royce needs good fuel"
Van Raamsdonk is again pleased with this year's edition. Over the last years, it has become a well-established show and it is a fixed date in everyone's agenda. This, however, doesn't mean that the organization is twiddling their thumbs until the next edition. "Every edition has its own challenges. Every year, we are trying to attract more international buyers, and that is always one of the biggest challenges. One can see the IFTEX as a Rolls-Royce, and the visitors as the fuel. Without it, it isn't running. And for a good car, we would like to have good quality fuel as well."
In the coming weeks, you can find several articles on Kenyan floriculture in our newsletter.
Next year, the IFTEX will be held from June 3-5, 2020.