Trade in horticulture is an African success story. Kenyan and Zimbabwean producers are now well established in the value chain. The question now is how to maintain or improve upon this position in a highly competitive market. European horticulture trade has been heavily influenced by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Kenya and Zimbabwe benefit from trade preferences that give them a competitive advantage over non-preferred exporters.
Although further work is needed to assess how far the European participants in the value chain are influenced by preferences, a working hypothesis is that only preferred states are able to participate. This suggests that any major change in policy could alter trade patterns. The paper concludes by considering the impact of short term changes such as the expiry of the Lome Convention in February 2000 and longer term erosion of the CAP through negotiations between World Trade Organisation members.