It’s almost one week now since the first eruption of the Iceland volcano. Smoke and ash clouds have been costing airlines tons of money (in the $20 million/day range). Both airlines and passengers (including the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harbor) are canceling their flights to Europe due to the ash clouds.
I truly feel sorry for those trapped in the airports waiting for their governments to make other arrangements to get them back home, and for developing countries that are loosing millions of their originally tiny income from exports to Europe.
But as a marketer this is what I see:
Developing countries like Kenya exports flowers and fresh vegetables to Europe. For Kenya in particular, these exports account for more than 20% of the Kenyan GDP. Due to the current situation the Kenyan loss is estimated as $3 millions/day.
That’s a product that has already been produced, cannot be delivered to the buyers, and at the same time can not be stored or it’ll lose value.
What would you do as a marketer?
Exactly, find another market.
And that’s not a big deal of effort. If you can’t go North .. go South.
These fresh products were being delivered to Europe by air anyway. So, if you are in the import/export business and can see the opportunity you can make a few phone calls to prepare the market in some of the southern countries like Australia, or even other African and Arab countries and arrange for exporting these same products to them. In most Arabic countries there is no agriculture, or at least not enough to feed themselves (that’s why they import their food from Europe and the Americas). It will even be cheaper for them.
And don’t worry about the quality. These products were prepared to be imported by European countries. They had to pass the European standards check, which makes them good for all other nations.
This will solve a big problem for most of the affected parties, except for Europeans, but they have a bigger problem to worry about.