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KFC Kenya considers sourcing potatoes locally after uproar

KFC Kenya considers sourcing potatoes locally after uproar
January 05
10:16 2022

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), an international fast food restaurant chain, Kenya, says it will start sourcing potatoes locally.

According to reports, KFC Kenya concluded to source potatoes from Kenyan farmers after delays in delivery from its overseas suppliers.

On Monday, the restaurant took to Twitter to announce the shortage of potatoes because “Kenyans loved KFC chips a little too much in December”.

Jacques Theunissen, the firm’s Chief Executive for East Africa, had told the Business Daily on Monday that the shortage of chips was due to a hitch in the global supply of potatoes.

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“It has to do with delays in shipping lines due to the Covid situation. Ships have been delayed for more than a month now, but we are working hard to restore as the first containers are arriving in the port tomorrow (today),” Theunissen said.

KFC, which operates locally through franchisee Kuku Foods East Africa, does not source potatoes locally on global quality standards.

The firm added that it cannot bypass the approval procedures to allow local farmers to fill the gap.

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“The reason we cannot buy local at the moment is all suppliers need to go through the global QA approval process, and we cannot bypass that even if we run out to ensure that our food is safe for consumption by our customers,” he said.

Based on the development, Kenyans took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction on why KFC can not patronise their local farmers.

A Twitter user, @itsmutai, said, “If you are a true Kenyan, you should not eat chips prepared by KFC! Eat chips elsewhere.

“Go get fat elsewhere. They can’t buy our local potatoes, they MUST import their potatoes, but still want you to eat their chips! Yaani, what kind of life do we want in 2022? #BoycottKFC!”

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Another Twitter user, @Mainaminor said, “that story about potato standards in Kenya is pure nonsense whichever way you look at it. 

“The potatoes you don’t want to use are the same Kenyans were consuming before KFC came in, so I don’t know who the standards are pleasing. wacha tukule kwingine.”

In another interview with The Standard, Jacques Theunissen said while they are considering patronising the locally produced potatoes from Kanyan framers, they would still demand high-quality potatoes when they start sourcing locally.

He, however, emphasised that KFC has been at the forefront of working with Kenyan suppliers for other ingredients.

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“Although we currently import our French fries, there is an opportunity to source the potatoes from a local supplier that meets the global KFC quality and safety specifications in the near future,” he said.

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