Mother’s Day is observed every year with dates varying across different geographical areas. This day is set aside to celebrate the gift that is motherhood and the people who bear this name directly or indirectly. Mothers have often been described as the epitome of love and sacrifice and set the pace for the rest of their children’s life. A mother’s influence over her child is seen both in the tangible and intangible attributes. For instance, it has been asserted that children get their intelligence from their mother. This is argued on the basis that the genes responsible for intelligence are contained on the X chromosome. The mother carries 2 X chromosomes and as such contributes one X to the child while the father donates either the X or Y chromosome which will also determine whether the child is male or female. The mother’s influence is also reflected in the child’s weight, temperaments, dominant hands, vulnerability to certain diseases, among others.
The one thing that the world seems to be united on, is that mothers across the globe need to be spoiled often and especially on Mother’s Day. As hugs and kisses along will not suffice, flowers which signify a mother’s sweet smell, gentle love, warmth, brightness, and optimism have become a tradition as a gift for mothers. Countries such as Kenya that are global flower power houses continue to supply the world with various flowers to bring this occasion to life. After all, a day like this is incomplete without a bouquet of bright yellow flowers.
Kenya’s expertise in the flower sector has seen it grow to be the fourth largest exporter of flowers in the world. Today, it is said that every third flower sold in Germany comes from Kenya. The Kenyan flower industry comprises of about 200 flower farms, 70 of these being on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. As such, investments have been made by both flower farms and logistics companies to ensure that Kenyan flowers are delicately picked and handled to nurture the quality coming from the farm, transported, onto the freighter in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for delivery to global markets.
It is occasions such as these which bring to fore the critical role that logistics plays in ensuring observations such as Mother’s Day are well powered with flowers for the occasion to ring in. The period preceding Valentines and Mother’s Day is heralded by the great efforts made by players to build capacity, keep the supply chain efficient, cool, and timely. Kenya’s flower industry comprises of about 200 flower farms with about 40% being located on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. As such, investments have been made by both flower farms and logistics companies to ensure that the flowers grown are harvested and handled delicately to nurture the quality from the farm, while in transport to the airport, onto the freighter and onwards to global markets.
Siginon Group is one such company that has made heavy investments to ensure that it is well equipped to handle the unique demands of each shipment benchmarked against global standards of quality. In the year 2015, Siginon Aviation, the ground handling arm of Siginon Group, launched a new USD 10 million air cargo facility guided by customer demands for an optimally operating air cargo facility underscored by safety and security. The facility has provided 1000 square metre floor space for perishable handling as well as an express cool corridor that handles perishable cargo such as flowers in the prescribed temperatures prior to loading. To ensure the precision in managing temperatures, technology has been spread across all cool chain facilities that provide mobile phone alerts should there be a change in the prescribed temperature. This then alerts the respective teams to react swiftly to ensure the cool chain is maintained. The facility has an additional 3,000 square meters for expansion to meet the ever-growing demand at JKIA.
Jared Oswago, the acting General Manager asserts that Valentines and Mother’s Day occasions come with great demand for flowers globally. This year, in addition to the scheduled flights, some airlines increased their monthly schedules by over 10 flights while other airlines converted passengers’ flights into cargo flights ferrying flowers in the upper deck and the plane belly. Certain airlines went ahead to boost their normal flights with special charters to export the scent of Kenya’s sweet-smelling flowers all over Europe for lovers and mothers.
This Mother’s Day, with every bouquet you receive or give, with every smile and hug you earn in return remember logistics made it happen!