KFC Starts Plans to Source Potatoes from Local Farmers

Okay, just so you know, KFC means Kentucky Fried Chicken. Well, not that it matters so much, but the company was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders from Kentucky at a time when hamburger was the real deal for the American Fast Food industry.

So KFC was not really founded for French Fries, the chopped and fried potatoes that you all like to call chips. KFC primarily sells chicken sandwiches. Chips is just a side dish for the restaurant.

Haven’t you heard the slogan, “No one does chicken like KFC?” So Good.

But chicken is not a big issue for Kenya. Chips is. When Kenyans learned that KFC was running short of potatoes to produce chips, they were utterly outraged. It did not make much sense to face shortage in the demand side yet the supply chain is ailing for lack of markets.

Many came to learn that KFC imports its potatoes from foreign countries. The company argues that it follows strict quality standards before entering into contract with farmers. They are looking for specific varieties of potatoes to maintain the quality standards they are looking for.

That does not make things any better for Kenyan farmers who feel that foreigners are killing their business. Not that we care so much about the chips sold at KFC. In fact, majority of Kenyans do not even know KFC outlets. Chips prices at KFC are just too prohibitive for them to bother checking in.

Nevertheless, KFC’s business practices and policies show that they do not care about the local communities in Kenya. As a multinational corporation, the firm ought to demonstrate corporate social responsibility by ensuring that the local communities in the countries they serve are sustainable. It is their responsibility to promote the welfare of people and protect the environment in the communities where they generate profit.

It is for these concerns that KFC has agreed to back down on its rigid policy.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, Peter Munya, says that Kenyan farmers are now preparing to grow the varieties of potatoes that KFC requires. This is in preparation for KFC to meet its growing shortage of potatoes to make French fries in the country.

KFC has been importing potatoes from Egypt, but shortage of supply has prompted the Kentucky-based eatery to start contracting local farmers to meet the supply gap.

Speaking during the 4th Intergovernmental Forum for Agriculture, Munya said that a team has already been established to roll out partnership between KFC and selected local farmers.

The process has started with selecting the farmers that KFC wants to work with. This will be followed by supplying the required varieties of seedlings, which will be supplied by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

If this plan works out well, perhaps it will be reasonable now for me to buy chips from KFC despite their high prices. Because then I will be supporting local farmers. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

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