Kenya: Government issues horticulture quality mark to ensure food safety

Consumers of fresh produce stand to benefit from high-quality food, thanks to local value chains that have conformed to Government-sponsored and other global standards. Local food firms are also advancing from the expanded market as consumers continue to increase following the growth of the middle class and the rapid urbanization in the country.

In July 2021, the Agriculture Ministry of Kenya launched KS1758, a code of practice for the horticulture industry in Kenya which stipulates the hygienic and safety requirements during the production, handling, and marketing of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

The first-ever company in the country to receive the KS1758 was the Belmont Farm of Beyond Fruits Limited from Limuru, Kiambu County, after successfully implementing the safety measures from farm to fork.

Speaking during the issuance of the certificate to the company yesterday, Principal Secretary, State Department of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture Harry Kimtai explained that the standard is an all-round encompassing area of fresh produce, namely plant health, food safety, environmental sustainability, and worker health, safety, and social accountability.

“The KS1758 is a very important mark developed to ensure our produce meets both local and international standards, and I want to urge farmers to partner with other off-takers so that they are able to produce their food in accordance with regulations and this will not only see them fetch better prices for their produce, but it will also lead to better income for returns and investment,” he said.

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