KENYA – Kakuzi Plc, a prominent agricultural firm, is gearing up to fortify its commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards through a substantial KES 250 million investment (USD 1.63 million).

This move underscores the company’s dedication to meeting the expectations of global clients, supporting local communities, and addressing the concerns of various stakeholders.

Chris Flowers, the Managing Director of Kakuzi Plc, emphasized the importance of integrating ESG practices, citing its growing significance among international fresh produce buyers.

The company’s investment aims to enhance ESG and sustainability practices throughout its supply chain. Flowers highlighted the broader implications of this effort, stating, “Failure to adhere to ESG standards could adversely impact Kenya’s agricultural exports, which are continuously striving to enhance their value on the global stage.”

Flowers stressed that national compliance with ESG standards necessitates active involvement and capacity building among all local stakeholders, especially those engaged in export-focused agribusiness ventures.

He outlined the potential consequences of neglecting these standards, pointing out their potential to undermine ongoing efforts to boost the competitiveness of Kenya’s agricultural products in the global market.

Speaking at the closure of the FRUIT LOGISTICA exhibition in Berlin, Germany, Flowers stated, “Upholding ESG standards should be a key national branding pillar to ensure that all agribusiness firms align with global sustainable guidelines closely monitored by international buyers.”

He reiterated Kakuzi’s commitment to maintaining robust ESG standards while advancing farm-to-table quality standards.

Flowers emphasized the importance of capacity building for smallholder farmers, highlighting the need to secure a social license to trade and operate in the agribusiness sector.

Flowers emphasized that the commitment to ESG standards is evolving from a voluntary practice to a national and international imperative.

He remarked, “It is not just about growing an avocado, macadamia, blueberry, or any other fruit for export.” This shift in perception was discussed during the unveiling of Kakuzi PLC’s fourth ESG report titled “Growing Together – For People, with Purpose.”

The comprehensive report that was launched in December last year provides an in-depth evaluation of Kakuzi Plc’s ESG impact, reflecting the company’s holistic approach to sustainability in its business strategies and operations.

Flowers noted the significance of climate action beyond carbon, emphasizing the report’s exploration of diverse topics crucial for both the company and the nation.

“The notion of agriculture as ‘green gold’ needs recalibration,” Flowers stated, highlighting the pivotal role of educating farmers on responsible cultivation practices with traceability standards for long-term sustainability.

Kakuzi’s strategic investment and commitment to ESG standards signal a positive step towards fostering sustainability and resilience in the agricultural sector, aligning with global expectations and positioning Kenya as a responsible and competitive player in international markets.

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