Kakuzi PLC has announced ongoing plans to strengthen its efforts to enhance the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards.
The enhanced rollout of ESG and Sustainability practices at a Kshs 250 million investment value across its supply chain is a priority commitment to its global clients, local communities and other stakeholders to sustain the firm’s social consciousness value.
Speaking from Berlin, Germany, at the close of this year’s FRUIT LOGISTICA Exhibition, Kakuzi PLC Managing Director Chris Flowers said ESG compliance continues to be a common thread and point of concern among international fresh produce buyers.
He noted that sustained national compliance to ESG standards will require joint engagements and capacity building among all local stakeholders, particularly those focusing on export-led agribusiness ventures.
Having engaged various stakeholders at FRUIT LOGISTICA, the world’s leading fruit and vegetable trade exhibition, Flowers confirmed that failure to adhere to ESG standards would be counterproductive to ongoing efforts to enhance the value of Kenya’s agricultural exports.
He said that to avoid eroding our national competitiveness, upholding ESG standards should be prioritized as one of the national branding pillars to ensure that all agribusiness firms adhere to global sustainable agri-business benchmarks that international buyers are closely monitoring.
“For this reason, even as we advance our farm-to-table quality standards, we are reiterating Kakuzi’s commitment to continue maintaining robust and sound ESG standards, including capacity building for our smallholder farmer partners to enable us to secure the social licence to trade and operate,” Flowers said.
He added, “Commitment to ESG standards has slowly evolved from a voluntary practice to a national and international concern. It is not just about growing an avocado, macadamia, blueberry or any other fruit for export. It is how you grow it, and ESG is not a nice to have; it is a stakeholder concern that must be firmly embraced as a national branding pillar in the sense that Kenya is a country which understands our responsibility to the causes of climate action, water stewardship and being able to demonstrate that we do the right things as part and parcel of our daily lives.”
This year, FRUIT LOGISTICA, a trade exhibition widely regarded as the heartbeat of the global fresh produce business, featured leading buyers and trade visitors from over 140 countries, with more than 2,770 exhibitors from 94 countries.