What you need to know:
- Claiming Kakuzi has not paid them in full, they said they will stop taking their harvests to it and take court action.
- The company, through its Public Affairs Manager, Mr Simon Odhiambo, dismissed the claims and said the farmers were paid all their dues.
Farmers who take their avocados to Kakuzi Limited in Murang’a have accused the company of breaching their contract.
Claiming Kakuzi has not paid them in full, they said they will stop taking their harvests to it and take court action.
The company, through its Public Affairs Manager, Mr Simon Odhiambo, dismissed the claims and said the farmers were paid all their dues.
It noted that it does not owe any of them.
“We wish to advise that all payments due to suppliers of avocados to Kakuzi for the 2018 season were finalised on December 24, 2018 and were made in accordance with the agreements entered with them,”
Mr Odhiambo further told the Nation that they invited suppliers to the company's premises for clarifications.
“The suppliers are free to visit Kakuzi during working hours, as they have done previously, should they need to," he said.
The farmers, however, claim their deal with the company was for the payment of Sh160 per carton, with the remaining Sh260 to be paid before the end of last year.
They alleged that instead of honouring the promise, the company sent them a text message saying that due to market fluctuations, it could not pay them as promised and ended up paying an extra Sh32 per carton.
Led by Simon Kibugu, the farmers said they consequently underwent untold suffering.
They said they will not harvest their avocados until they find a ready market through an organisation that will not deny them their dues.
“The company told us it had undergone losses and could not afford to pay us the remaining Sh260 per carton which was not our agreement," Mr Kibugu said.
“Now that they have breached our agreement, we shall not harvest our produce until we get a market as we prepare documents to charge them in court if they don’t honour the promise in 21 days."
The growers further claimed that for Gatanga Sub-county alone, the company owes them Sh200 million.
Simon Gitau said most of them risked having their property auctioned by saccos and banks due to failure to repay loans taken for farming in order to meet Kakuzi's standards.
“Some of us had taken loans to enable us attain the good grades needed by the company. I used my tittle deed to acquire a loan. It will be taken away unless the company rescinds its decision and pays us our dues,” Mr Gitau said.