Murang’a county assembly has formed a joint committee to investigate the reasons why avocados exported by Kakuzi Company Ltd have been rejected by some outlets in the United Kingdom.
The Assembly’s Speaker Nduati Kariuki wants the committee to work expeditiously saying the company supports the livelihoods of many in Murang’a County.
Kariuki the committee must find out the reasons why the avocados have been rejected and if possible, find a solution to prevent further losses.
Three weeks ago, a major grocery outlet in the UK, Tesco suspended buying of avocados from Kakuzi citing allegations that the company has been violating human rights of its workers.
The speaker observed that the loss of the market by Kakuzi will affect hundreds of families who have invested in avocado farming and are relying on the lucrative market being offered by the company.
“The Committee has been tasked to investigate among other issues, any criminal actions and violations of human rights, if any, by the employees or the management of Kakuzi limited irrespective of the positions they hold within the company,” He said.
The Speaker noted that the findings of the joint committee will be duly communicated to assist in resolving the matter between the company and its importers.
Kariuki said there is a need to do whatever is necessary to protect the County’s economy by assuring all international importers of seriousness in upholding employment ethics and human rights.
The Membership of the Committee will be made up of Members of the Committee on Governance, Labour Committee, Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, the Committee on Agriculture and the Trade Committee.
Murang’a County is among top producers of avocados and thousands of farmers have been reaping high returns from the fruit.
The county government in past years has been issuing avocado seedlings to farmers after the devolved administration entered into partnership with exporter companies like Kakuzi which buy avocados at better prices.