Workshop: Carbon and Water Management in Horticultural Exports from East Africa. 8-9 December, Kenya

1 December 2011
ITC News

Exporters of horticultural products increasingly have to comply with buyers environmental requirements such as carbon and water standards. This can be particularly challenging for SMEs from developing countries in terms of costs of compliance but also time and effort for companies in learning about different methodologies. To address these concerns, ITC, in partnership with the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) and COLEACP/PIP (an association for African-Caribbean-Pacific exporters and EU importers of horticultural produce), will hold a multi-stakeholder workshop in Naivasha, Kenya on 8-9 December 2011.

In recent years, the development and implementation of standards such as Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) standards has gained momentum. A number of initiatives already exist at both the public and private level, and international standards are starting to emerge. These standards can be an important market differentiation tool for retailers but potentially a new non tariff barrier for food exporters in developing countries. While almost all PCF standards are being implemented on a voluntary basis, they can become de facto mandatory in a commercial sense if the main adopters (such as supermarket chains) require compliance in order to grant market access. A lack of understanding or technical knowhow to implement these standards can thus limit export opportunities from developing countries. Similar trade concerns exist in relation to the newer but growing field of water standards.

The workshop will provide an overview of the sustainability agenda in the agrifood sector with a special emphasis on carbon and water management. It will be attended by Kenyan fresh produce exporters, local service providers and professional associations. Participants will hear from leading experts and standard setting bodies on the latest developments in the field of carbon and water standards, and discussions will take place on some of the key issues facing Kenyan stakeholders.

The workshop will help to identify local capacity building needs and thus enable the preparation of more targeted assistance in 2012 as a part of ITC's Trade and Environment Programme, funded by the government of Denmark. Additional funding for the workshop has been provided by the European Union. The workshop programme can be downloaded here.