KFC Suffers Shortage Of Imported Potatoes Following Covid 19 Crisis
An American fast-food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC),topped Twitter trends in Kenya on Wednesday, January 4 after it emerged that the franchise does not purchase potatoes grown in Kenya in preparing fries for sale.
Kenyans got concerned why the fast-food chain imports potatoes from abroad, yet there is a produce surplus in the Kenyan market.
“Boycott KFC” was the hashtag that rose to the topmost spot, with a majority of the at least 2,200 tweets sent out asking for KFC to relook into its potato acquisition policy.
On Tuesday morning, the business had announced on Twitter it had run out of potatoes because “Kenyans loved KFC chips a little too much in December”, causing the shortage.
KFC imports potatoes from Egypt, arguing that there’s no supplier in Kenya who trades large quantities of pre-cut sliced blanched frozen potatoes.
In an interview with the Business Daily on Monday, KFC chief executive officer for the East African market, Jacques Theunissen, put it clear that Kenyan farmers were yet to undergo training on producing potatoes that meet the standards set by the franchise.
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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.
According to the KFC East Africa boss, the shortage was caused by Covid 19 crisis and by Wednesday January 4,2022 the shortage would be resolved which led to scarcity of supply of potatoes.
“It has to do with delays in shipping lines due to the Covid-19 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 (Wednesday, January 4),” Theunissen toldBusiness Daily.
KFC also pointed out that their other products like ugali, buns, chicken and coleslaw are however available, the franchise said on Twitter.
The shortage comes even as Kenyan local farmers continue to struggle with an oversupply of the produce.
In Molo Nakuru County the farm gate price of the 90kg bag of potatoes has recently hit an all-time low of between Sh450 and Sh600.