Agri-Vie invests $5 million into Kariki Group
Agri-Vie, the private equity fund focused on food and agribusiness investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, has announced a $5 million investment into Kariki Group, a specialist Kenyan flower exporting business.
According to Dave Douglas, Investment Advisor at Agri-Vie, the fund was attracted to making this investment in Kariki by its reputation as a high quality supplier, its world class operational facilities, and because it is an efficient and well managed business.
Douglas said: “the horticultural industry in Kenya is a significant contributor to the national GDP. Kenya now has a 38 percent market share of the massive flower supply in Europe.
“Being on the Equator, there is no real change of season and with a high percentage of sunlight hours a year, Kenya has capitalised on these climatic and geographic advantages. Conversely, growers in Europe have to utilise artificial lighting and heating to extend their growing period, thereby adding substantially to their costs.”
The flower industry in Kenya has grown progressively from modest beginnings in the mid-1980s. Within 20 years it emerged as one of the world’s leading flower exporting nations.
Recognising the potential, the Kariki Group was founded in 2002 by brothers Richard and Andrew Fernandes, at a stage when the European floriculture sector became less cost competitive and began shrinking.
The cut flower industry operates to highly sophisticated and effective standards. Within two days of cut flowers being harvested in Kenya, they are available to be sold to the consumer in Europe having been trimmed, packaged, and airfreighted overnight from Nairobi to Holland.
From there, approximately two thirds of the flowers are sold through the massive Dutch flower auction at Aalsmeer after which they are invariably re-shipped to the final destination in countries as diverse as Sweden, Russia, USA and Japan.
Kariki is one of the fastest growing cut flower businesses in Kenya, operating from four different sites within Kenya all at different altitudes in the highlands, allowing optimum growth of different varieties.
For example, roses grown at higher altitude produce bigger heads and deeper rich colours. Kenya is able to meet the high quality criteria demanded in the world markets.
Kariki’s focus on the production of niche categories of flowers under proprietary rights sets it further apart from its competition.
Agri-Vie’s investment will assist the company in further expansion, as growth opportunities are significant. While the European market is extensive, demand is also growing in the Japanese, Middle-Eastern and Australasian markets.
Additionally, there is much potential to widening the product range in order to satisfy market needs.
The Kariki founders and their fellow shareholders welcome Agri-Vie into their company as a long term equity partner that is knowledgeable about doing business in the East Africa region and in the horticultural sector, according to Richard Fernandes, co-founder of the business.
Kariki’s environmental impact is positive with all Kariki’s operational sites holding both GlobalGap and KFC Silver accreditations.
Flower waste in the packing process is composted and utilised to re-enrich the soil, while rain water is harvested and utilised to supplement irrigation needs.
In addition, each of Kariki’s 1200 employees actively participate in improving efficiencies and quality standards under the skilled leadership of the respective management teams with support from the Fernandes brothers.
All these factors have contributed to Kariki being a world class operation, and a most attractive investment for AgriVie” he concluded.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”