Zimbabwe sugar exporters speak on the Kenya scandal

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  • Zimbabwe Sugar exporters terminate false reports on exported brown sugar
  • 1 000 tonnes of brown sugar did not meet Kenyan requirements
  • 61 623 tonnes of brown sugar exported in Kenya

The Zimbabwe sugar exporters have dismissed as false reports that 20 000 tonnes of Zimbabwean brown sugar worth more than US$12 million was to be destroyed in Kenya allegedly due to poor quality.

This follows recent reports that appeared in certain sections of the media that 20 000 tonnes of brown sugar from Zimbabwe was to be destroyed in Kenya.

In a joint press release, the Zimbabwe Sugar Sales Private Limited (ZSS) and the Zimbabwe Sugar Association (ZSA) said the correct position was that they exported 61 623 tonnes of brown sugar to Kenya in 2018 but 1 000 tonnes of the sugar did not meet the Kenyan package, printing and labelling requirements.

“Consequently, the consignment of 1 000 tonnes was rejected by the Kenyan authorities. This specific consignment was packed in 40 x 20 full tonne containers, with each container carrying 500 x 50 kg bags (i.e. 25 tonnes per container) totalling 1 000 tonnes,” the exporters added.

The sugar exporters said it is not feasible for a single 20 full tonne container to carry product totalling 500 tonnes as it was incorrectly reported.

They stated that both Zimbabwean and Kenyan authorities had been long advised of the issue.

“Relevant authorities in both Zimbabwe and Kenya have been seized with this matter for quite a while. In keeping with usual procedures, we expect the Kenyan authorities to issue a Destruction Certificate to ZSS in due course,” read part of the release.

The exporters assured its stakeholders that 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.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s sugar producer, Hippo Valley Estates said industry export sales for the year ended 31 March, 2021 was up 29% to 115 000 tonnes from a comparative 2020 of  89 000 tonnes driven by a growth in the Kenyan market despite a temporary suspension of sugar imports into that market in June 2020.

The company highlighted that total industry sugar sales volumes increased by 7% to 440 000 tonnes in 2021 from  413 000 tonnes in 2020 owing to continued firm demand in the local market despite Covid-19 induced low disposable incomes experienced during the period.

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