Kenya: Local farmers say Kakuzi's alleged failure to pay for avocado supply threatening their livelihoods; company comments

Author: Ndungu Gichane, Daily Nation (Kenya), Published on: 9 February 2019

"Farmers threaten to sue Kakuzi over avocados supply deal"

Farmers who take their avocados to Kakuzi Limited in Murang’a have accused the company of breaching their contract. Claiming Kakuzi has not paid them in full, they said they will stop taking their harvests to it and take court action. The company, through its Public Affairs Manager, Mr Simon Odhiambo, dismissed the claims and said the farmers were paid all their dues. It noted that it does not owe any of them. “We wish to advise that all payments due to suppliers of avocados to Kakuzi for the 2018 season were finalised on December 24, 2018 and were made in accordance with the agreements entered with them,”...

The farmers, however, claim their deal with the company was for the payment of Sh160 per carton, with the remaining Sh260 to be paid before the end of last year. They alleged that instead of honouring the promise, the company sent them a text message saying that due to market fluctuations, it could not pay them as promised and ended up paying an extra Sh32 per carton. Led by Simon Kibugu, the farmers said they consequently underwent untold suffering. They said they will not harvest their avocados until they find a ready market through an organisation that will not deny them their dues. “The company told us it had undergone losses and could not afford to pay us the remaining Sh260 per carton which was not our agreement," Mr Kibugu said. “Now that they have breached our agreement, we shall not harvest our produce until we get a market as we prepare documents to charge them in court if they don’t honour the promise in 21 days."

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Related companies: Kakuzi