Listed agribusiness firm Kakuzi Plc (NSE: KUKZ) has formally adopted a new corporate identity that underscores its commitments to agricultural development for the domestic and export markets.
The new Kakuzi brand is aligned with the national agricultural transformation agenda, with sustainability and climate-smart agriculture at its core.
Speaking at the launch of the new Kakuzi brand, the State Department for Crop Development Principal Secretary Mr Phillip Kello Harsama said the government is committed to advancing agricultural transformation through various avenues, including private partnerships, as they allow for accelerated and rapid results achievement.
While noting that Kakuzi is set to unveil a range of Macadamia Cold pressed cooking oil products, PS Harsama said the government is sparing no effort to advance the National Edible Oil Crops Promotion Project. “This development offers a route to double up the consumption of macadamia nuts locally through value addition in the face of the current global glut,” The PS noted.
Through resources from the exchequer, the State Department Mr Harsama said plans to spend more than KSh 40 billion this financial year to implement agricultural transformation initiatives under the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BeTA) priorities.
“The government plans to provide 720 Metric Tonnes of certified sunflower seeds by the use of the e-voucher input subsidy services, 200 Metric Tonnes of assorted canola seeds, sunflower, soya and 10,000 coconut seedlings, and disburse KSh.42million to 840 farmers as loans in Kwale, Mombasa, Taita Taveta Tana River and Kilifi Counties under the National Edible Oil Crops Project,” he said. He added that “I am impressed that as the government advances the National Edible Oil Crops Project, Kakuzi Plc, as part of its branding programme, is set to introduce competitively priced Macadamia Cooking oil in the local market. This is a significant milestone that complements the National Edible Oil Crops Project and provides an avenue to diversify the pool of edible oils-producing crops beyond Sunflower, Canola and Soybeans to Macadamia.”
The new Kakuzi identity, the firm’s first defined brand visual system and strategy in 95 years, also signifies a transition to the contemporary world of superfoods growing for both the domestic and export markets based on a strategic decision to prioritise the production of such foods.
As part of the new branding, Kakuzi has also officially launched a range of private-label consumer products developed over the last two years for the domestic market, including ready-to-eat macadamia, gluten-free macadamia flour, cold-pressed macadamia oil and blueberry packs. Following an intensive research and development (R&D) programme by the Kakuzi team, the new branded consumer products will be progressively availed to the local market.
Speaking at the brand launch ceremony, Kakuzi Plc Chairman Mr Nick Ng’ang’a described the new identity as a growth driver for the firm that currently holds Kshs 7.1 billion net current assets.
Kakuzi, he explained, will focus on sharing its expertise and quality standards with local and international consumers.
“Over the last 95 years, Kakuzi has grown from a sisal grower, citrus, passion and pineapple fruits grower to a superfoods producer and exporter of repute. We have over that period gained immense experience in all our stakeholder engagements and can now aim to unlock value with a distinct corporate identity that underlines our commitment to growing together with all our stakeholders,” said Mr Ng’ang’a.
Attesting to the firm’s growth trajectory, Kakuzi, Mr Ng’ang’a said it had significantly expanded its avocado and macadamia orchards to meet growing demand. The firm, he disclosed, is on course to convert all its former pineapple-growing fields to avocado orchards by 2026.
On his part, Kakuzi Managing Director Mr Chris Flowers said: “Whilst we make our profits from the land, we fundamentally believe that our value is generated by what our brand promises and, critically, what it is seen to stand for. For the first time in our century-old age, we have defined who we are with utmost clarity and pledged to meet the needs of Our community, Our Staff, Our customers and business partners, Our shareholders, and Regulatory and Government leaders, among others. The new Brand, Kakuzi, provides a market differentiation and promises to unlock value for all stakeholders.”
The management team, Mr Flowers confirmed, is actively working to unlock further value by delivering domestic market products. The firm’s introduction of the Kakuzi branded range of ready-to-eat macadamia products for the domestic market, he said, is a vital part of this transformation. “The products are expanding as we strive to provide nutritious, healthy and affordable food responsibly grown in Kenya,” said Mr Flowers.
As part of a shareholder returns enhancement strategy, Kakuzi Plc is gearing up to make its pioneer property development investment in the retail sector as it develops Kakuzi Farmers Market. The retail enterprise, located opposite the firm’s headquarters on the Nairobi-Nyeri highway, will allow Kakuzi to sell its recently introduced range of value-added products and provide a decent place for up-country travellers to stop and refresh.
Kakuzi is also in the final stages of a commercial appraisal process for a full-scale Blueberries production venture at a Ksh 4 Billion estimated cost.
The firm has also recently commissioned a Macadamia Oil Extraction Plant to meet the growing demand for value-added products within its superfood portfolio. Domestic sales of value-added macadamia products will also help mitigate challenges in the international arena due to a prevailing macadamia glut in the global market.