Kenya dominates Africa’s flower industry with almost 60% of the continent’s exports. It has now become the most dynamic agricultural sector and plays a key role in Kenya’s economic development. The flower sector is one of the nation’s largest employers and is a major exporting industry. 94% of cultivated flowers are exported to Europe. Kenya consequently has a 25% market share, well ahead of Israel, Colombia and Ecuador. However, there is increasing competition, particularly from Ethiopia which is currently attracting new investments.
Bigot Group is a family-run group with longstanding experience in the cut flower sector (first greenhouses built in France in 1958). The group has traditionally been specialized in roses and tulips in France. In 2002, it set up a flower farm 20 km from Lake Naivasha in order to produce roses. At that time, rose production in Europe had been hit by competition from East African countries that enjoy an extremely favorable climate for rose farming.
The investment program aims to help Bigot Group develop and secure the future of its farm in Kenya.
The FISEA investment is in line with the strategy to develop Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic fabric. It is also in line with the strategy to support French businesses in a fair trade industry that is recognized for its added value in terms of development
The €2.5M FISEA equity investment will partially finance the investment program.
The Group plans to acquire the land on which the production facilities are located. Moreover, 27 hectares of greenhouses with obsolete facilities will be replaced under a 3-year program. This replacement will raise productivity by 20%.
Bigot Group’s activity has a sizeable impact on employment in the region: some 1 000 employees work on the farm, 49% of them are women. 93% of employees are permanent and benefit from greater advantages than provided for in Kenyan legislation.
Fair trade certification guarantees the production and marketing of products that comply with international standards. 10% of total fair trade sales are transferred to the employee community for the implementation of social operations.
Although roses are generally not destined for local consumption, they constitute a considerable source of food security thanks to the income they provide to thousands of people, mainly women, in a relatively remote and poor region of Lake Naivasha.
Finally, studies have proven that greenhouse gas emissions from the production and import of Kenyan roses (including air transport) are six times lower than emissions from European rose production.