When importing flowers, several issues can occur during the process, so what if a buyer could have ‘eyes on the ground’ that check if everything goes as planned? With this concept in mind, Dave Hoekstra, Philip Mambo, and Youra Engel established Floralchain in Kenya in 2021. They consolidate shipments, they do the documentation, quality control, and if requested, they can also book the space at the Cargo, and they even give the option to buy the flowers from farms. The advantages? “In short, when structure, optimize and control the supply chain logistics, it will be saving time, and in turn, it also will reduce the costs,” says Dave Hoekstra.
Youra Engel, Dave Hoekstra and James Kasyula (Control Quality Report Manager) at IFTEX 2023.
How does it work?
So, how does it work? In the video below. It is explained that after the flowers have been ordered (by the client or Floralchain), the boxes are put on the truck by the farm, Floralchain receives the boxes at the JKIA Airport (where they have access to the most bonded Cargo cold rooms). They enter the received boxes in their system, and they attach the signed document as proof of receipt. Then, additional, they perform a quality check on 10 percent of the shipment. After the quality check, they write a report, including pictures, detailing the quality of the flowers and send it to the client.
Also, they consolidate the boxes from multiple clients, they make the necessary documentation - Floralchain is Export Licensed and KEPHIS certified, so the Export invoice and Phyto-certificate will be attached to fly all the consolidated boxes conform to the regulations. Then, the boxes are handed over to the Cargo Agent, and a photo is being taken to ensure the boxes are properly palletized. Then, the boxes are uplifted into the airplane, which will leave Kenya towards its destination. Next morning the client receives all required documentation, the uplift report, instructions, AWB with a number of boxes, and weight and dimensions, all checked.
The advantages for the buyer/client
So what are the advantages for the buyer? “First of all, we are their eyes on the ground in Kenya. So, sometimes, the quantity of stems/boxes, the variety, the quality, or the dropping point does not match client’s expectation. Now Floralchain is there to inform, the client can take prompt action. Floralchain will adjust according to the expectation, and even this could enable the client to contact the grower to supply the right product again and prevent large delays and disappointment for their clients. It also gives the buyer peace of mind because we do not only update them with information about their shipment, but we also take responsibility for their shipment. And finally, the experience and the diversity of local Kenyan and European employees gives us the advantage of speaking the “language,” which is necessary here in Kenya to get everything correctly done and thereafter communicate back to you as a client according to the European expectations and standards.”
And for the grower?
Are there also advantages for the grower? “Yes! When we started, farms were quite hesitant as we checked everything, but they quickly noticed the benefits of our services. They can, for example, improve and optimize their processes, and as we start getting to know the farms, we can also recommend them to our buyers, or if a buyer requests, we can buy from the farms we work with. All in all, it will help them, the buyers, and therefore the entire chain to improve and, in turn, deliver the right and fresher flowers.”
Raise charity with flowers
Floralchain is not only committed to providing affordable logistics solutions and quality control but is also dedicated to uplifting the lives of the less fortunate. “Taking responsibility and lead on social needs of local communities has been part of our success.” To this end, Floralchain Africa Ltd has implemented a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program for sustainable development with an emphasis on providing better education and healthcare for underprivileged communities.
“Floralchain Africa LTD is among the first logistical service company to introduce a sustainable CSR initiative by launching the ‘MAUA YETU’ project in collaboration with WEMA Centre. The program aims to raise funds through the sale of flowers donated by flower farms and subsidized freight rates by Freight agents.” They just started this project in week 26, and it will run till week 30. Click here for more information on this project.