KENYA – Kenyan fresh food producer and exporter Kakuzi Plc, has invested more than Kshs 200 million (US$1.75m) in the last one year to guarantee quality production and environmental management practices that align with both local and globally recognized standards.
The company’s sustained co-operation and commitments to maintain the highest possible production and environmental management standards has enabled it to become the first local entity to secure approval from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), to process and prepare export-grade fresh avocados for the Chinese market.
The firm has secured its KEPHIS approval following a stringent phytosanitary audit for its extensive Kakuzi farms and packhouse.
The approval comes hot on the heels of the recent signing of two bilateral trade protocols to facilitate the export of fresh avocados and aquatic products from Kenya to China.
As part of the implementation of the protocols, KEPHIS has been undertaking facility audits to ensure the integrity of local packhouses earmarked to provide packaging solutions for avocado exports.
Kakuzi’s fresh produce Packhouse and Orchards near Makuyu town was inspected and found to be compliant with the high international standards.
“We recently were subjected to a series of random and procedural inspections by KEPHIS, and I am glad to announce that the Kakuzi’s orchards and packhouse are among the first approved large-scale farming and packing operations, cleared for the Chinese market,” said Managing Director Mr. Chris Flowers.
“At the Makuyu facility and Orchards, we maintain world-class phytosanitary standards for our exports to Europe, and the KEPHIS approval further serves to underscore our quality commitments,” he added.
Kakuzi armed with both local and international certifications
Kakuzi’s focus on maintaining the highest food safety standards, earned the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm an unconditional renewal on a crucial globally recognized agricultural food quality certification last year, receiving the GLOBALG.A.P. version 5.2 certificate.
The GLOBALG.A.P. certification, a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked standard, allows Kakuzi PLC to produce avocados to access the European market with a recognized mark of quality issued by NSF Certification Ltd, a UK based certification body.
“To ensure that our locally produced fruits meet the global standard, we have continued to invest in globally benchmarked staff training and production facilities and practices making us a truly Kenyan but world-class agro-business firm.
“Our commitment to this is further demonstrated by our latest ESG report launched at the Nairobi Securities Exchange in December last year. Future-proofing agriculture is not a catchphrase but requires one to put resources behind it,” Flowers said.
Alongside the GLOBALG.A.P. certification, Kakuzi PLC has secured several local and international operating accreditations’ including the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Diamond Mark of Quality and the FSSC 22000 Food Safety Management systems.
They certify that quality Kakuzi food products are produced with a minimal detrimental impact to the environment and that the firm takes a responsible approach to workplace health & safety and animal welfare.