Why Valentine’s won’t be a bed of roses for flower firms

Economic weakness in Europe and a jump in cargo charges have hit flower firms that were anticipating good returns this Valentine’s season, with most of the companies expected to sell roses locally to avoid the exorbitant cost of freight.

Scheduled freighters out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are charging $2.80 this season for a kilo of cargo airlifted to Europe, up from $1.80 previously.

On the other hand, airlines that have been issued with a short-time licence to operate flights out of JKIA for Valentine’s season only –normally referred to as ad hoc flights— are charging as high as $3.50 for a kilo of freight.

“Uncertainty caused by high freight charges and the recession in Europe that has cut expenditure on luxuries such as flowers, makes it difficult for our firms to export most of their produce this Valentine’s,” said Kenya Flower Council chairman Richard Fernandes.

Read more at businessdailyafrica.com

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