Out of stock of fries, the American fast food chain announced that it was suffering from supply problems due to the fact that its potatoes were imported. A revelation that goes badly among the producers of the country, who are struggling to sell their production.
By announcing that it was out of stock of fries, the fast food chain KFC probably had not imagined triggering a debate on potato cultivation in Kenya. A message published by the American company in early January caused a storm by revealing that the chain imports its potatoes in a country where farmers sell at knockdown prices for lack of demand. Despite calls for a boycott on social networks, the Kenyan press believes that the controversy reveals above all the weaknesses of local agriculture.
“You liked our fries a little too much and we are out of stock. Sorry !” wrote KFC Kenya on Twitter on January 3. At the origin of the stock shortage, disruptions in supply chains linked to the pandemic. In everyday life Business Daily, the director of the regional branch of the company, Jacques Theunissen, confirms that the chain imports its pre-cut apples and cannot obtain supplies from the Kenyan market, whose producers are not certified.
“The reason we can’t buy locally at the moment is that all of our suppliers have to be vetted through a quality process, and we can’t get around it even if we’re out of stock to ensure that our food is safe for consumption by our customers”, explains the manager. For the Kenyan business daily, “this amounts to depriving the local farmers […] lucky to take advantage of lucrative contracts, especially in times of scarcity like this”.
On Twitter, the #BoycottKFC hashtag exploded after the post was posted. The company’s policy is going badly in a country where the sector is struggling to sell its