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KFC clarifies why it could not source local potatoes



NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 -The Chief Executive Officer of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise Jacques Theunissen says that the reason why it could not source local pototoes was entirely because Kenya lacks potato suppliers who can provide the semi-cooked frozen chips it uses.

Theunissen, who spoke during a consultative meeting held with Ministry of trade officials led by Principal Secretary Johnson Weru clarified that the ongoing potato shortage had nothing to do with the alleged poor quality of locally grown potatoes.

“Ongoing potato shortage had nothing to do with the alleged poor quality of locally grown potatoes and everything to do with lack of suppliers of the semi-cooked frozen chips they use,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the Kenyan government will urgently assist farmers to access the product locally to support the local economy and cut down on their shipping costs and time.

“KFC sources over 80 percent of their other supplies from local suppliers who easily conform to global standards,” he said

As part of the resolutions, KFC and the ministry agreed to develop a roadmap within 2 weeks guiding the set up of a manufacturing plant to supply processing frozen chips.

This, the ministry said, will help to address, among other issues, how the firm can access locally processed chips that conform to the company’s global quality standards and food safety specifications

“We are committed to creating a conducive business environment by assisting and protecting foreign investors while at the same time looking out for Kenyan interests, in this case, job creation, the market for local produce, and value addition of agricultural products,” PS Weru said.

The meeting was held following recent public complaints on social media which arose after thee the food chain announced it had run out of imported potatoes and substituted chips with alternatives such as ugali in its menu.

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The move elicited public outcry with many faulting the multinational for abandoning local farmers who produce potatoes.

The Nyandarua County Government is also holding negotiations with the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) company to explore ways of supplying potatoes to the multinational firm.


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