Sugar producers explain rejected Kenya consignment

Health officers destroy 153 bags of contraband sugar in Nakuru in 2018. Kenyan authorities will destroy 20,000 tonnes of condemned Zimbabwean brown sugar

ZIMBABWEAN sugar exporters have dismissed reports that 20 000 tonnes of brown sugar from Zimbabwe worth over US$12 million was destroyed in Kenya allegedly due to poor quality.

This follows recent reports in some sections of the media that claimed the 20 000 tonnes of brown sugar of Zimbabwean origin had been destroyed.

In a joint statement, the Zimbabwe Sugar Association and Zimbabwe Sugar Sales (ZSS) said the correct position was that the latter exported a total 61 623 tonnes of brown sugar to Kenya in 2018, and of that amount, a consignment of 1 000 tonnes did not meet the Kenyan package printing and labelling requirements.

“This sugar was consequently rejected by the Kenyan authorities. This specific consignment consisted of 40×20 feat containers, with each container carrying 500×50 kilogrammes bags (25 tonnes per container), totaling 1 000 tonnes,” reads part of the statement.

The exporters said as can be readily appreciated, it is not feasible that a single 20ft container can carry product totaling 500 tonnes, as was reporter by some sections of the media.

The statement said relevant authorities in Zimbabwe and Kenya had long been advised of this matter.

“We expect that the Kenyan authorities will be issuing ZSS a Destruction Certificate in due course, in line with procedure.

“We would like to assure our valued stakeholders that notwithstanding this isolated incident, the Zimbabwe sugar industry is fully committed to producing and delivering sugar of the highest quality to both local and export markets, in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” reads the statement.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett indicated in a statement accompanying financial results for the full year ended March 31, 2021 that the country’s sugar exports spiked by 29 percent, largely driven largely by demand in Kenya.

The firm highlighted that its total industry sugar sales volume of 440 000 tonnes (2020:413 000 tonnes) for the year under review was 50 percent higher than the 48 percent last year.

Tongaat Hulett said total industry sugar sales of 325 000 tonnes (2020:324 000 tonnes) into the domestic market for the year were marginally above prior year, having recovered from low sales during the first quarter of the financial year on account of then existing economic distortions. – Chronicle

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