Fresh Flowers in Kenya
The Role of Ethical Agents
Presented here is a case study of ethical agents which, although supported by development project funds, can offer a commercial model for aligning the business models of smallholders, SME suppliers, and demanding modern retailers. In this project to bring Kenyan smallholder flowers into the supermarkets of the UK and US, two ethical agents intervened at multiple levels of the chain, creating new market opportunities, building capacity of the Kenyan SME aggregator/supplier, negotiating the terms of supply (representing the Kenyan intermediary whilst respecting the demands of the retailer), and enabling some flexibility at the retailer end. The agents also contributed to the development of a more smallholder-friendly environmental standard.
Principal Authors: Abbi Buxton, Bill Vorley, Steve Homer, and William Van Bragt, May 2012