West Sugar Company Addresses Kabras Sugar Contamination Claims

  • The producers of the popular Kabras sugar, West Kenya Sugar Company Limited, on Tuesday released a statement addressing claims of importing contaminated products for the Kenyan market.

    The processing firm based in Kakamega County stated that an extended drought period experienced in Kenya in 2016 to 2017 caused a rise in retail sugar prices.

    As a result, the Kenya Government, through Kenya Gazette Notice Number 4356 (published on 12th May 2017), granted a four-month duty exemption for sugar imports up to August 31, 2017.

    "In view of the exceptionally reduced supply of cane available from our preferred local farmers caused by that drought, West Kenya Sugar Company Limited along with several other companies consequently applied for and were granted a licence to import bulk brown sugar by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).

    "The importation of sugar involves Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) certification from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) who work with international quality assurance companies to certify that the sugar conforms to KEBS’ KS EAS749:2010 standard. The Kenya Revenue authority is also involved to ensure that all requisite taxes are paid," the Managing Director Tejveer S. Rai stated.

    [caption caption="Kabras sugar"][/caption]

    The company added that the bulk brown sugar that they imported was placed in quality-controlled, white woven bags which have an inner water-resistant liner.

    "The bags are marked ‘NOT FOR SALE’’ as that sugar requires further processing to our exacting standards before it is released to the consumer market.

    "As we imported bulk brown sugar it was a condition by KEBS that the same should be further processed at the factory in Kakamega. To ensure this condition was met, the same sugar was transported 900 KM by road from Mombasa to Kakamega for processing.

    "The final product is then tested in our laboratories to ensure that it meets the KEBS table sugar quality standards and our own Kabras Sugar brand quality standards. West Kenya Sugar Company Limited operates an advanced quality testing laboratory to ensure the integrity of all our genuine products," the statement reads in part.

    They further noted that their products were often a target of counterfeiters and unscrupulous traders and packers who import and pass off contraband products in their name.

    "We therefore enthusiastically commend the ongoing efforts by the various Government Agencies that are working to clamp down on these illegal traders and we support all genuine efforts to ensure that the culprits of such acts are brought to book," the statement noted.

    [caption caption="Illegal sugar"][/caption]

    The Managing Director disclosed that they had voluntarily provided unfettered access to government inspectors to all their facilities including the Kakamega factory and storage sites in Nairobi, Nakuru and Webuye.

    "Samples of sugar that we imported are currently undergoing testing and we have no doubt that the results will confirm the integrity of our products and serve to counter the inaccurate, unsupported and alarming reports that are being circulated in the media," he added.

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