Joint marketing plan to help lift exports abroad

Marketing plan is expected to increase horticulture exports.

Stakeholders in the horticulture sector have developed a one-year marketing strategy to sell Kenya's produce internationally. 

The Integrated Marketing Communication strategy (IMC) is the first one of its kind and seeking a coordinated communication programme that is customer-focused.

The deal was sealed during a three-day workshop in Naivasha by Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency, Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), Kenya Airways and Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK).

Speaking at the event, the agency’s board committee chair of marketing Kathleen Kihanya said Kenya is well positioned to offer the global market high quality horticultural products.

“It is encouraging to see all horticulture sector players join hands and corporately developing an  integrated marketing strategy to ensure the story of our unique, good quality products, is effectively communicated globally,” she said.

Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency CEO Dr Wilfred Marube said the multi-sectoral collaboration will ensure all producers in the horticultural industry are engaged for maximised results.

Some of the outlined marketing strategies include combined horticultural events planning, advocacy on common issues, public relations activities, digital marketing and compelling storytelling campaigns.

“While Kenya produces some of the best fresh produce sold at the international markets, we haven’t fully exploited this potential. It is therefore timely that we develop a strategy to communicate  deliberately on our offering,” said Hosea Michuki, CEO FPEAK.

“It’s the beginning of a process that the horticultural industry has longed for. A joint push and collaboration of Government and private sector to create a concrete brand for horticulture products in the export market. For the industry, we must demonstrate to the market our niche and differentiation of Kenya’s products so we can be competitive. We believe we have products that can  be on top of the world and dominate the market, but a lot still needs to be done to help consumers  make informed decisions, this is where the IMC sits,” said Clement Tulezi, CEO KFC.

Leaders in the industry have lauded the initiative.

“This partnership is great. We look forward to sustainable growth of the fresh produce sector as we focus on taking the lead in the fresh produce exports,” said Okisegere Ojepat, chief executive officer FPC Kenya.

Horticultural sector remains among Kenya’s top four foreign exchange earners.

In 2019, the sector accounted for 19 per cent of Kenya’s total exports. 

In the same year, Kenya’s key destinations for horticultural exports included the Netherlands (Sh 39.1 billion), United Kingdom (Sh23.9 billion), the United Arab Emirates (Sh5.7 billion), US (Sh5.4 billion and Germany (Sh5.2 billion).

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