Market News

Regulator to probe rights abuse claims at Kakuzi

tesco

A shopper chooses fresh fruit at a Tesco Superstore in south London on September 30, 2019. Tesco, Britain's biggest food retailer, has suspended the supply of avocados from Kakuzi Kenya, which is accused of systemic human rights abuses in a new lawsuit. PHOTO | AFP

geraldandae

Summary

  • The Directorate of Horticulture is looking into the alleged human rights abuses at the Kakuzi plantation as it seeks to restore one of the country’s major buyers of avocado.
  • The move follows Monday’s action taken by Tesco supermarket in the UK in suspending avocado from the firm on grounds of alleged abuses.
  • Head of the directorate Benjamin Tito said they were not aware of the issue until it was reported recently in the media.

The Directorate of Horticulture is looking into the alleged human rights abuses at the Kakuzi plantation as it seeks to restore one of the country’s major buyers of avocado.

The move follows Monday’s action taken by Tesco supermarket in the UK in suspending avocado from the firm on grounds of alleged abuses.

Head of the directorate Benjamin Tito said they were not aware of the issue until it was reported recently in the media.

“We want to establish the true position of these allegations to advise the parties that are involved in this,” said Mr Tito.

Tesco is a major buyer of the Kenyan avocado, and the regulator is worried that the standoff could augur badly for the industry that is just recovering from the Covid-19 hit.

Britain's biggest grocery retailer announced the suspension after law firm Leigh Day said on Sunday it had initiated legal action against UK company Camellia, Kakuzi’s parent firm.