Home Business Fertiliser firm seeks legal redress over substandard product claims

Fertiliser firm seeks legal redress over substandard product claims

SBL Innovate Manufacturers Limited CEO Joe Kariuki.

Silica Booster Innovate Manufacturers Limited (SBL), the firm currently embroiled in claims of supplying substandard fertiliser in the market has began a legal lawsuit against the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

SBL Chief Executive Officer Joe Kariuki has refuted the accusations lodged against it by KEBS that it was involved in the sale of fertiliser that did not meet required organic standard and was not certified for sale.

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“This is not true and it’s shocking that a government office and specifically the CEO Esther Ngari would give a false statement to both parliament and the public. On the contrary, the Kenya Bureau of Standards issued certifications to our products on 28th January 2023 and 17th May 2023,” said Kariuki.

While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Livestock on Wednesday, Ngari told legislators that the fertiliser impound from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores and owned by SBL were also not part of the government fertiliser subsidy programme.

According to the Kariuki, SBL had entered into an agreement to be the distributor of its two fertliser, GPC Original and GPC Booster which are not part of the subsidy programme.

“While the National Cereals and Produce Board also supply government subsidized fertilizers, let it be clear that this s their own independent deal and has nothing to do with us. Between us is a clear commercial agreement between manufacturers and agent,” added Kariuki.

KEBS has since warned farmers against purchasing the firm’s GPC Original organic fertliser.

“The product trading by name, “GPC Original Plus Organic Fertilizer” manufactured by SBL Innovate Manufacturers Limited does not meet the requirements of the Kenyan Standards for Organic Fertlizer KS 2290:2018,” KEBS said in a public notice.

The firm while terming the accusations as “false and libelous” has now lodged

“That’s the first thing I have to do. Not even the first thing, we are already in court,” he stated.

SBL says it has been supplying its organic fertiliser to more than 100,000 farmers across the country with targets to reach one million within five year.

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