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Kenya: Passion fruit exporter eyes Netherlands and BelgiumKenyan company Roypack exports passion fruit to the United Kingdom, this accounts for 30% of its produce, while the other 70% is sold to other exporters. The exporter is now looking to the Netherlands and Belgium as a new market for passion fruit.
The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France and UAE top the list of countries where Kenyan passion fruits are exported to.
“Currently we only export the Endulis variety to the UK, which is in high demand, but we are looking into newer markets and at bigger volumes. My future expectations for passion fruit is to ship 4 to 5 tons compared to the current 500kgs. I also expect to have a year round market,” explains Wilberforce Ngigi of Roypack Enterprises.
In terms of volumes, Roypack exports 2 tons per month, which amounts to 16 tons annually, as most of its clients take small volumes and only order at certain times of the year.
According to Ngugi, the cost of production was slightly higher this year compared to last, while prices for the fruit remain constant in Europe.
Roypack grows passion fruits on a 5ha piece of land which yields a minimum of 4 tons a week, but plans for expansion are in the pipeline especially after The Netherlands and Belgium come on board.
“Our biggest competitor in the European market is Colombia who are better placed in terms of distance to the market and so can offer more competitive prices than us,” explains Ngugi.
According to Ngugi, meeting the European quality standards hasn’t been an issue, despite the rainy seasons and cold months, which are between the end of June to early August, as passion fruit is very sensitive to cold and rain.
“The measures we have put in place to meet the standards ensure our farms implement good agricultural practices, but we also have experienced and skilled staff to make sure we only ship the best quality fruit, which meets the expectation of the customer and consumer on the other side,” adds Ngugi.
The government of Kenya, through HCD and KEPHIS, has also been working hand in hand to help growers in implementing good agricultural practices through seminars and workshops. This, Ngigi says, has helped in ensuring growers achieve the best quality, fit for the international market.
For more information:
Tel: +254 020 5248399
Publication date: 9/23/2016
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