Strategies used by Sian Roses in Kenya to increase their flower exports to the international markets
Gicheha, Jesse K
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Exporting fresh flowers is one of very few successful efforts by producers in Kenya to compete in international markets of high-value agricultural goods. While this success results from the producers’ ability to take advantage of their geographic location and access to low labour costs, it may not be sustainable in the long run due to increasing competition in the industry over the years, in line with world trends. In deed gone are the days of protected markets and dominant market positions. Instead markets have been opened up thus inviting many players that offer the customer wider choice. In such circumstances, it is for the organization to be ahead of developments in the cut flower industry for it to realise success. Using a case study approach of Sian Roses, complemented by an empirical analysis of data on Kenya floriculture industry, this study established the export strategies that Sian Roses has adopted to increase their flower exports to the international markets. The findings of this study indicate that the most frequently used export strategies employed by Sian Roses included providing a broad range of flower products and services, competitive pricing, product quality, efficient supply chain system and use of stakeholder collaboration linkages. The study recommends that Kenyan flower exporters should pay extra attention to product quality and reliability, and that they should explore the avenue of using sea transportation to deliver their produce to the international markets. It is estimated that the costs of transportation by sea freight may be up to 30% lower than by air freight. These cost savings and the logistical challenges that are easier to meet, highly increase the export potential of exporters from developing countries.