Irish multinational taste and nutrition company Kerry is expanding operations in East Africa to bring more local, sustainably-produced food and taste solutions to the continent. Its new Nairobi Development and Application Centre opened to support customers in East Africa and the development of sustainable food processing for the continent.
The expansion coincides follows the launch of Kerry's Future Food Africa commitment, which recognises the challenges facing the continent and that African producers need African solutions to deliver sustainable, healthy nutrition solutions. The pledge focuses on reducing food waste, delivering authentic local taste, nutrition solutions, plant-based options and localisation.
Through investments in people and infrastructure across the continent, Kerry has a solid footprint in East Africa and beyond to support local and multinational food processors. With a rising population to feed, supply chain disruptions, over-reliance on importation, and more demanding consumers, the company states that Africa needs local food solutions.
Kenya Application and Development Centre opening
At the opening of the Kerry Kenya Application & Development Centre opening, customers were treated to a full menu of food and beverage concepts inspired by Kenyan culinary tradition, a vibrant style with elements of coastal and distinctly East African ingredients and flavours.
In the high-tech labs, customers sampled a plant-based buffet, as well as snack and beverage offerings with East Africa flavours reimagined in innovative ways by Kerry food scientists. The local centre will further support co-creation with customers and the development of sustainable food processing for Africa.
Sustainable growth of food processing sector
At a recent business forum in Nairobi organised by the Business Ireland Kenya, Kerry Group CEO Edmond Scanlon joined key stakeholders in the food processing industry including logistics providers, manufacturing, financing groups, NGOs and academia from local universities to discuss how to accelerate the growth of the food processing sector in a sustainable and profitable manner.
Scanlon called on the food processing stakeholders to listen to local consumers and develop high nutritional content food and beverage products at an affordable price.
The event was attended by the Irish Ambassador to Kenya, Her Excellency Fionnuala Quinlan who encouraged investors to work together to make the sector more profitable which will in turn spur economic growth in the region. Other speakers included the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) chair Muchai Kunyiha who called on the government to incentivise the sector to make it more sustainable and profitable.
Investing in Africa
Earlier this month, Kerry opened the largest and "most advanced" taste manufacturing facility in Africa located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The €38m facility will produce sustainable nutrition solutions that will be consumed across the continent.
In December 2021, the company expanded its operations in Africa with the acquisition of local taste solutions manufacturer, Afribon. Afribon produces food flavours for the beverage, confectionary, bakery and dairy markets in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Cameroon.