“In this regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry revenue is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022 in response to deliberate investments in telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and health technologies, medical tourism, health workforce training and risk pooling/health insurance, among others. In order to achieve this, we need to plan in a harmonized way. In Uganda, for instance, we, indeed, have a nascent pharmaceutical industry producing Aids/HIV, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, pharmaceuticals, etc. drugs. These are, however, still using imported pharmaceutical grade starch and imported pharmaceutical grade sugar. The pharmaceutical grade starch and sugar are crucial for making tablets and syrups for children’s medicines. Yet, the starch is from maize and cassava and the pharmaceutical grade sugar is from sugar. I am told the drugs would be 20% cheaper. Moreover, apart from helping in the pharmaceutical industry, more refined sugar is also needed in the soft drinks industry. Uganda is squandering US$34 million per year importing refined sugar for the soft drinks, about US$ 20 million for importing the pharmaceutical grade starches not including the other raw materials, US$ 77million for taking patients to India etc. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE JOINT EAC HEADS OF STATE RETREAT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT, 22.02.2018).
Seems like the 1980s World Bank loans to restart Kakira Sugar Works hasn’t done enough, since the Ugandan state did right after the National Resistance Army takeover of the state. They went into an arrangement with the World Bank getting loans for the company, to restart. That deal was done 8th March 1988. As the documents said back in 198:
“Uganda currently imports US$15-20 million worth of sugar annually, which ranks second only to petroleum imports. Import substitution through restoration of domestic production capacity is therefore a high priority and eminently justified given the considerable comparative advantage Uganda enjoys as a result of its landlocked situation. Conditions for sugar production at Kakira are highly favorable. Cane growing benefits from excellent soils, good rainfall distribution (requiring only limited sunplementary irrigation) and relatively low levels of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The project brings back to the Kakira complex the original owners who have a demonstrated ability to manage sugar operations at Kakira and elsewhere” (SUGAR REHABILITATION PROJECT, 08.03.1988).
Therefore, what the President said today, the Sugar Rehabilitation Project, which was done to stop the heavy imports of sugar and for consumption, has clearly not worked as projected. Since his own state is squandering their resources and not even following the loans to make the project work. That is my take on it. The president of 32 years has clearly mismanaged this and not finished his job. Since he hasn’t been able to rehabilitate the industry.
When it comes to pharmaceutical industry there massive challenges, not just the sugar starch for medicine coverage of the pills. Nevertheless, the whole arrangement, since the technology to operate these machines are imported, as well is the parts. Not only the sugar starch, but also the ingredients are imported too, than you have few companies who has automated manufactures, which makes hard to make medicine on a larger scale. It is also high operation cost, because of use of back-up generators because of blackouts and shortfall of electricity. Because of this, it is expensive to have cold storage of the medicine and have a storage for the final products.
So the Idea from Museveni that it is simple, it is the whole system around it, that makes it more profitable to import ready made medicine, than actually produce it. Even if the added value of production would be there, but with the circumstances put by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, seemingly it is from 2009. However, the state of affairs hasn’t changed that much.
We can really estimate, that the adjustment and the needed organization to pull forward both industries during the years of NRM hasn’t been totally fruitful. If so, why would he complain about the imports of sugar and medicine, when he hasn’t been able to make it function with his 32 years of reign? Someone who has 3 decades, should have the ability and time to find the information, finalize plans and execute as seen fit. That is if he cared about the industries in question and their possible engines for growth and riches of Africa. Nevertheless, he hasn’t cared and haven’t used the time wisely. He has used the time bitching and not acting. That is just the way things is and it isn’t becoming better either.
He could have made sure that the pharmaceutical industry had energy, had the sufficient organization behind it to make the medicine, not only import and assemble certain medicine, he could have made sure the sugar industry was profitable and had the equipment to make the refined sugar used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, both is a lost cause, because it takes money and time. Both, is something he doesn’t have, since the narrative isn’t making him wealthy.
Alas, he we are at the status quo, with a President running for life and complaining about waste. When he has wasted 32 years and not made effort to change it. It is all talk and no fire. Peace.
“We have had a wonderful collaboration with IMF since 1987. We have managed to control inflation. By controlling inflation, we have succeeded in preserving the people’s earnings” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (State House, 2017).
Well, there been many who has set similarities with the inflation and price shocks of the year 1987. The Republic of Uganda has been through their mess before. The government of Uganda and the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) had just taken power in 1986. This was a year after the coup d‘etat, which brought the NRA into power. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in collaboration with International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had agreements and Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which promoted deregulation and less state control of the economy. This was also put forward to settle inflation and the deficit that the state had.
So, because some has put similarities between 1987 and 2017, as the prices has gone from about 3,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2016 and 7,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2017. There is clearly that there was problems in 1987, but whole another level. The Sugar Industry wasn’t established, the economy of Uganda needed export of coffee and this was the sole benefit of foreign currency into the economy.
“Inflation in Uganda is running as high as 200 percent, and low prices to farmers serve as a disincentive to agricultural production in a country of rich soil and mild equatorial climate” (…) “At the center of the debate is the issue of devaluation. In its first year in office, the Government revalued the currency from 5,000 to 1,400 shillings to the dollar, saying that the move would make imports cheaper. But exports have become increasingly expensive. Devaluation Debated. Some hard-line nationalists in Government insist that the cost of devaluation would be devastating. The cost of such imports as sugar, cooking oil and soap would increase significantly, they say, making the average Ugandan even worse off than he is now” (Rule, 1987).
“In 1987 the Uganda shilling was demonetizated during the currency reform and a currency conversion tax at a rate of 30% was imposed to further reduce excessive liquidity in the economy. There was an immediate drop in average inflation from 360.7% in May to about 200% cent in June. However, with the possible fears of complex and drastic currency reform, the premium shot up, representing essentially a portfolio shift to foreign currency, and possible capital flight, and suppressed inflation. The intended aim of the conversion tax, apart from reducing excessive liquidity, was to lend money raised through this tax to the government. This was to finance the budget deficit over a short period, rather than financing it through printing more money. Nonetheless, inflation shot up again within three months mainly due to renewed monetary financing of increased government expenditure, domestic credit expansion by commercial banks to meet coffee financing requirements and financing of the newly launched rural farmers scheme” (Barungi, P: 10-11, 1997)
“Prices for sugar and vegetable oil (both imported goods) increased rapidly in the early part of the year, falling between May and August — replicating the pattern of the premium between the parallel and the official exchange rate. The subsequent fall in sugar prices and stability of cooking oil prices were due to greater official imports. Inflationary pressures on food prices have been aggravated by supply shortages on account of severe transportation problems” (World Bank; P: 36, 1988).
“In October 1986, Mulema was replaced by Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who has a medical background Kiyonga has a difficult task. The government’s finances are shaky at best. In an attempt to enable Ugandan citizens to purchase imported consumer goods, the government fixes their prices below world prices. This, of course, puts considerable pressure on the government’s finances: for example, in July 1986 the government imported $4.8 million worth of sugar to sell at subsidized prices” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).
Perspective from Kakensa: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).
We can see there was certain aspects, but the sugar industry now is different. The Sugar factories are now real and the business are now in full affect. While, in 1987 the state needed coffee exports to get funding and foreign currency. The sugar was imported and was put on fixed prices. The inflation back then was because of the crashing economy after the bush-war and the effects of it. The Sugar prices now are rising for different reasons. These reasons are the yields of sugar-cane, the hoarding of sugar and the export of surplus sugar. Also, the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. That was not the situation and context in the past.
Still, history is repeating itself, since the NRM, let the prices run as crazy in the past. The price has gone up a 100% in a years time. Which, means the prices who doubled from 3000 to 7000 Uganda Shillings. This is not a stable and the ones who get hurt is the consumer and Ugandan citizens. Peace.
Barungi, Barbara Mbire – ‘EXCHANGE RATE POLICY AND INFLATION: THE CASE OF UGANDA’ (March 1997).
Rule, Sheila – ‘UGANDA, AT PEACE, IS FACING ECONOMIC BATTLES’ (28.01.2017) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/28/world/uganda-at-peace-is-facing-economic-battles.html
State House Uganda – ‘President commends Uganda – IMF collaboration since 1987’ (27.01.2017) link: http://statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2017/01/27/president-commends-uganda-%E2%80%93-imf-collaboration-1987
Warnock, Frank & Conway, Patrick – ‘Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda’ (1999)
World Bank – ‘Report No. 7439-UG: Uganda – Towards Stabilization and Economic Recovery’ (29.09.1988)
President Uhuru Kenyatta finally found a solution to the rising the prices and inflation on basic foods. Therefore on the day there is 30,000 tons Sugar coming in at Mombasa this morning.
This after the first Executive Order of Kenyatta this year said: “That the drought and the famine in parts of Kenya is a national disaster, duty shall not be payable for the following items-
(a) Sugar imported by any person, with effect from the date of Notice to the 31st August, 2017; and
(b) nine thousand tonnes of milk powder imported by milk processors, with the authority of the Kenya Dairy Board, with effect from the date of this Notice to the 31st August, 2017 Dated the 11th May 2017” (The Kenya Gazette, Vol. CXIX – No. 62, Nairobi, 12th May 2017).
So as this happens, you can wonder if the Sugar millers and Sugar exporters are connected with the government. Since the 30,000 tons just appear on the day after the gazette. That means, someone knew about the plans of the government and let it happen. It isn’t just appearing from the sky, that a holy angel sends 30,000 tons of sugar to Kenya and the Port of Mombasa on the day after the Executive Order was signed and than relieved to the public by Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Henry Rotich. He is just a useful CS, who certainly will have his pieces of deliverance of all the duty free goods.
That the government, close connections with the Jubilee government and the Sugar cartels will surely gain profits on these exported foods. This been in a country where the tariffs has been a 100% on Sugar and added VAT 16 %. Therefore, this reactions seem to be a ploy to earn monies on gullible people and think that the people will take it as goodwill. This is happening at the same time, as the prices on sugar is still on a two year low worldwide. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, might think the Kenyans doesn’t see through this. But they should question the companies, the boats and who orders the duty free goods to Kenya from today and until 31st August.
Like who earns the profits on the sugar and the milk powder in these months. They are clearly planning it and not only for the famine and drought. But for sole purpose of gaining massive amount of funds in the period of campaigning. This just appearing and ordered in the critical time. The Jubilee government doesn’t know how to be subtle. Can wonder if any of the corporations and importing businesses owned by the Kenyatta’s or Ruto’s would benefit from this. I wouldn’t be shocked, neither if anyone else of the Jubilee government got a payday and huge amount of Bob’s in their accounts. Peace.
There are various of reasons for the rising prices of Sugar and processed sugar in Uganda. This isn’t the first time or last cycle of inflation on the prices of this common commodity. Sugar is common in Uganda for concept of having in it in the chai or the milk tea. To sweeten the milk and the black tea the Ugandans drink. Therefore, the Ugandans are needing and using lots of it on daily basis. It isn’t a luxurious goods, but a daily usage, for ordinary use. It has become staple and is staple together with matooke, cassava, rice and maize flour. This is all seemed as basic for the Ugandan people. Sugar is something very important. Therefore, the rising prices says something is out balance.
The balance have now been lost a year after the election. The prices of goods and food was also rising in 2011, therefore, the Republic had the Walk 2 Work demonstrations. These was demonstrations against the rising food prices, which also meant the sugar at that time went up. The same is happening now. With also on alternative exception, that the producers are not only creating sugar for consumption anymore, but ethanol and bio-fuel. Therefore, the produce and profits are going to export bio-fuel and other products, instead of the sugar that the consumers in Uganda uses. This also is an explanation for the rising prices, as well the added exports to Kenya, where the producers gain more selling it there. Than in Uganda, take a look!
In April 2017 USMA commented:
“Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA) says the increase in sugar prices has been prompted by the increase in cost of production and the deprecating shillings against major currencies. The Association’s Chairperson, Jim Kabeho says sugar millers were forced to announce what he called a paltry 4 percent increase on each 50-kilogram bag on ex-factory price. The increase according to Kabeho saw a 50-kilogram bag of sugar trading at one hundred and eighty five thousand shillings up from one hundred and seventy thousand shillings” (…) “Meanwhile a source at the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives who asked for anonymity says the Ministry suspects that the big players like Kakira could have decided not sell its sugar to the market so as to increase production at the ethanol its ethanol plant. The sources says sugar mills with ethanol plants are finally making money on sugar through on co-generation of power, alcohol and ethanol” (URN, 2017).
In April in Masindi:
“Masindi district leaders have risen up against the Masindi district Resident Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma over stopping sugar cane buyers from buying cane from Masindi district. Last week, Nyakahuma launched an operation of impounding trucks of all sugar cane buyers who buy sugar cane from Kinyara sugar limited out growers and over five trucks loaded with cane were impounded by police” (…) “Byaruhanga added that that is a sign indicating that Kinyara sugar Factory has no capacity to crush the available sugar cane adding that since Uganda has a liberalized economy let everyone come and buy the abundant cane available instead of leaving the farmers suffer with the monopoly of Kinyara sugar factory. Amanyire Joshua the former mayor Masindi municipality said that if Kinyara is saying that sugar cane buyers are poachers, Kinyara sugar factory is a smuggler because it is also doing the same. Mary Mujumura the deputy speaker Masindi district blamed Byaruhanga Moses the presidential advisor on political affairs for failing to advise the president on political issues saying that he is not supposed to enter into business matters” (Gucwaki, 2017).
In May 2017:
“From last year’s average of Shs 3,000 per kilo of sugar, the price shot to Shs 4,000 early this year and is now hovering over Shs 5,500. A kilo of Kinyara sugar is the cheapest at Shs 5000, while Kakira sugar is selling at 6,000 a kilo. On the shelves, Kakira sugar and Lugazi sugar are scarce compared to Kinyara sugar, which is in plenty. Many dealers have now started hoarding sugar in order to benefit from anticipated price hike in the short term” (URN, 2017).
In May 2017 – Stanbic Statement:
“The only category to buck that trend was wholesale & retail, where staff costs rose and employment fell. Average purchasing costs also rose in April, reflecting increased prices for animal feed, food stuffs, raw materials and sugar. Higher cost burdens were passed on to clients, leading to a further increase in output charges” (Stanbic Bank, 2017).
President Museveni praises Kakira Millers:
“I would like to thank the Madhvani Group, despite the disappointment by Idi Amin. The family pioneered the production of sugar in Uganda. By 1972 they were producing 70,000 tons but today they have almost tripled the production to 180,000 tons,” he said. The President was today commissioning a state of the art ethanol distillery at Kakira Sugar Limited in Jinja district. The US$36 million facility, which is the largest in the East African Region, will be producing 20 million litres of ethanol annually” (…) “President Museveni pledged to address the issues to regulate the sugar industry but urged the Madhvanis to partner with farmers with large chunks of land for production of sugar-cane, as the cane is not a high value crop. He said people with small land holdings should be left to do intensive farming like the growing of fruits that give high returns. Turning to the issue of prices payable to sugar-cane out-growers, President Museveni advised the buyers and out-growers to sit together and agree on the prices taking into consideration the market prices globally” (Uganda Media Centre, 2017).
Government statement on the 11th May:
“Speaking to 256BN on condition of anonymity a government official monitoring the situation said the manufacturers have not increased the factory price, but he conceded that the situation is worrying. “At the factory prices are stable. Why is it that the prices at the retail gate are high. This means that there are some distributors who are using the hiding strategy in order to rob Ugandans. As Government we shall continue monitoring the situation until we come up with the solution” the official said. Affordability of sugar is considered a key barometer of an ordinary person’s well-being and its pricing can take on political dimensions when people cannot have sugar with their tea” (256BusinessNews, 2017).
Putting the price in pespective:
Kakensa Media reported this today: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).
This is all proof of a systemic malpractice, where both export, together with lacking yields because of drought and also the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. All of this collected together are reasons for the rising prices of sugar. The sugar price goes up because the use of cane for other things than millers producers sugar for consumption, but for other export products. This is all making sure even as the Republic of Uganda has in the past produces to much, it now doesn’t. Since it elaborately uses the sugarcane for other products.
That has made the Madhvani Group rich and their exports of sugarcane products are clearly selling. Now even their basic milled sugar are sold more expensive on the Ugandan market. There are also proven problems by other millers, who either has to much cane like Kinyara Sugar Factor in Masindi. Which is ironical problem, as the Kakira and Lugazi sugar is empty on the shelves, while the sugarcane hoarding Kinyara are still in the shops. But Kakira which is produced by Madhvani Group, we can now understand, since they have bigger operation and is blessed by the President for their industrial production of ethanol and bio-fuel.
Therefore, the are more reasons than just shopkeepers not getting enough stocks. That the rising prices are not only that there is lacking production. It is the system of export and production. Where the cane isn’t only becoming milled sugar for consumption, but for all the expensive industrial exports like bio-fuel and ethanol. This is all good business, but also bad for consumers and citizens who are accustom with decent prices for their sugar. That is not the fact anymore, as the business and millers has found new profitable ways. So that the surplus sugarcane and also the other gains massive profits. This is all good business for the owners of the sugar-millers and sugar industry. The one who feels the pitch is the consumer and the citizens. Who see scarcity of sugar inside the shops and also the inflation of prices on the sugar. Peace.
256BusinessNews – ‘Government to issue statement on sugar’ (11.05.2017) link:http://256businessnews.com/government-to-issue-statement-on-sugar/
Gucwaki, Yosam – ‘MASINDI RDC IN TROUBLE OVER STOPPING SUGAR CANE BUYERS’ (28.04.2017) link: http://mknewslink.com/2017/04/28/masindi-rdc-trouble-stopping-sugar-cane-buyers/
Stanbic Bank Uganda – ‘Ugandan economic growth continues at start of second quarter’ (04.05.2017) link: https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/143ca2b8e3d84c79b96aed4885b7337e
URN – ‘Sugar manufacturer’s association explains price hikes’ (14.04.2017) link: https://dispatch.ug/2017/04/14/sugar-manufacturers-association-explains-price-hikes/
URN – ‘Uganda: Sugar Crisis On for Another 2 Years – Manufacturers’ (09.05.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201705100129.html
Uganda Media Centre – ‘President Praises Madhvani Group’ (05.05.2017) link: https://mediacentre.go.ug/news/president-praises-madhvani-group
The prices of Sugar in Kenya is special experiment, as the taxation on imports of sugar is a 100% and also 16% VAT on the sugar imported. Secondly, the industry is controlled by the state, there been talk of privatization of millers owned and the Kenya Sugar Board who regulate the industry. As well as the Ministry of Agriculture is making sure the output of the farmers are corrected.
Therefore, as the prices worldwide is sinking and going-low, the prices of sugar are going up. This is happening in the months right before election time.
The government must know the industry is struggling as the only private miller Mumias are again on a downward spiral: “Already, the miller has been closed for three months. According to managing director Errol Johnson the closure was meant to fix equipment, which had contributed to the company’s poor performance due to inconsistent maintenance. The closure from April 11 came barely a month after the cash-strapped miller received Sh239 million from the government, as part of the bailout strategy” (BiznaKenya, 2017).
That the Mumias miller proving the big-problems in the Sugar industry, as it has been evident for years. The agricultural output and yields haven’t been the issue alone, it is denial of the state to figure out working changes to the millers, the import and also control it has over it. That the government has the oversight and the insight to the issues, are clearly that the Jubilee haven’t been interested in-changing it, as the benefit of this system. Therefore, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto hasn’t touched it or done anything else than bailing out Mumias on the last dive of the company. Therefore, the reports shown here. Proves the initial factors to the grand issues and why the prices are sky-rocketing, while the international prices are falling. Take a look!
Barriers for Sugar Productions:
“Sugar milling is a high fixed cost business requiring substantial economies of scale in cane crushed to break-even” (…) “Existing relationships of patronage between governments and large milling companies serve to align the incentives of government and millers such that new entrants would find it difficult to compete with incumbents and obtain the same benefits” (Chisanga, Gathiaka, Onyancha & Vilakazi, P: 12, 2014).
“Government ownership in the sector remains large, despite higher relative efficiency in the private sector and long term plans for privatization. While some privatization has taken place over the past decade, government-controlled factories held a 37 percent production share, with additional non-controlling shares in other firms. Part of the argument in favor of privatization is the relative efficiency of production in private mills over those controlled by the government” (…) “The local sugar milling market is quite concentrated, and combined with the barriers to trade this suggests that the largest players have significant power over prices. Mumias, the largest sugar company, had a market share of 38 percent of domestically produced sugar in 2011, lower than its typical market share due to cane shortages. Combined with the government-controlled share of the industry, this implies that essentially two entities control at least 75 percent of local production. The shares of local producers in domestic market sales vary quite widely depending on the period, as the volume of imports fluctuates a great deal. For example, Kenya Sugar Board data from the first two quarters of 2012 show importswere approximately 33% of local production” (Argent & Begazo, P: 5-6, 2015).
“Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, a government (Jubilee) body, reports that 2.2 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have closed shop in kenya over the last five years. These are some of the reasons that inform our opposition to Jubilee. Personally, I think Uhuru and Ruto are fine Kenyans; wonderful husband to their spouses; incredible fathers to their children; and great benefactors to their elite friends, but have terribly failed in the duties of the office of the presidency” (…) “All sectors of Kenyan economy has been negatively affected by the floods of cheap imports, brought into kenya by unscrupulous businessmen connected to those in power, having unbridled freedom to import anything of their choice without paying taxes: From sugar industry; to textile; to agriculture, denying kenya the much needed revenue for development. Over the weekends, the leaders behave like Frank Lucas, donating part of the proceeds from these imports to the same societies they are killing by giving out these import certificates” (Sadat, 2017).
That the government haven’t made sure the industry and financial markets been sufficient is proven with the macro problems in Kenya. The import sanctions together with the stronghold control of certain millers and Kenya Sugar Board, there are patronage and cartels that sets the prices and the payments for the yields. Together with the storage and cane production that is initial to the issues that are there today. That President Kenyatta and DP Ruto hasn’t taken charge and paid amends is the reason for the prices at this point. That the Sugar Barons, Sugar Cartels and Sugar Companies are connected with government is understood as the politicians are taking handouts from them as well.
As the COFEK open letter to Kenyatta said so well and I will end with:
“No one in your government can categorically state how much stocks are being held in the strategic grain reserves. Casual talk of wanting quality of the same maize, from the millers lobby, heightens speculation that your government is unwilling to walk the talk on cutting the cost of living. As things stand, it is fair to say that your Government has taken a holiday on consumer protection as cartels take over the all-important food security sector. It follows that your government, is therefore, in breach of Article 46 of the Constitution you swore to protect. Needless to mention, it is a tall order for you to protect and uphold the sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the people of Kenya if they remain hungry – with a single or no meal at all, thanks to the high cost of living. Your government supposedly offers huge subsidies to farmers through farm inputs like fertilizers which do not get to them. It’s the middlemen and cartels who end up smiling to the bank as farmers toil in vain” (COFEK, 2017).
Argent, Jonathan & Begazo, Tania – ‘Competition in Kenyan Markets and Its Impact on Income and Poverty – A Case Study on Sugar and Maize’ (January 2015)
BiznaKenya – ‘Mumias Sugar to close indefinitely over cash problems’ (08.05.2017) link:https://biznakenya.com/mumias-sugar-close-indefinitely-cash-problems/
Chisanga, Brian; Gathiaka, John; Nguruse, George; Onyancha, Stellah & Vilakazi, Thando – ‘Competition in the regional sugar sector: the case of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia – Draft paper for presentation at pre-ICN conference, (22 April 2014)
Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) – ‘Cofek open letter to Uhuru Kenyatta on high cost of living’ (02.05.2017) link: http://www.cofek.co.ke/index.php/news-and-media/1718-cofek-open-letter-to-uhuru-kenyatta-on-high-cost-of-living?showall=&start=1
Sadat, Anwar – ‘REVEALED: WHY The ECONOMY is Almost COLLAPSING Under Uhuru Jubilee Regime, GoK’s Kenya Bureau of STATISTICS Exposes Shocking Numbers’ (07.05.2017) link: https://www.kenya-today.com/opinion/revealed-economy-almost-collapsing-uhuru-jubilee-regime-government-body-kenya-bureau-statistics-exposes-shocking-numbers
“A multi billion shilling sugar processing plant in Atiak within the northern district of Amuru, will be commissioned soon” (…)”The USD$50M (UGX 175B) investment will have an installed capacity of 5,000Metric Tons, according to the project managers” (…)”The facility sits on 15,000 hectares of land half of which has now been planted with sugarcane” (NTV-Uganda, 2015).
You want more meat to the barbeque:
Check these blogs:
Here you get certain information about the land-grabs that is vital and pivotal to building of this kind of factory and development in Amuru:
Some prequel stuff as well:
Hope you also found this interesting! Peace.
Kenyan opposition has reacted to the talks about importing sugar from Uganda to Kenya and recharging the trades over the borders. This is after the talks that been between Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Uganda recently. Here will go through the statements from CORD (Coalition of Reforms and Democracy), ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) and JUBILEE. Also other main actors in the Sugar industry in Kenya, also main numbers for one of the factories called Mumias Sugar Company, which has had issues in the recent year.
To put a little history into this and surely forgotten near history is:
“A public spat over when 200 000 tons of duty-free sugar should be imported from the Common Market for East and Southern African (Comesa) bloc to forestall a sugar shortage in Kenya has exposed potential economic sabotage by members of the ruling party” (…) “On February 9, the board’s chief executive, Andrew Otieno Oloo, wrote a letter to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission and the National Security Intelligence Services accusing the ministers of attempting to execute fraudulent deals. Otieno said the sugar crisis had been orchestrated to trigger a price increase for the commodity” (…) “Two weeks ago, presidential aspirants Raila Odinga, William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, Najib Balala and Kalonzo Musyoka — all from the opposition — also took the government to task over the delayed sugar imports and said the scheme was intended to create an artificial scarcity aimed at raising prices” (…) “The imported Comesa sugar would have stabilised sugar prices, which have already increased by more than 100%, to $2 from less than $1 a kilogram in October last year. The issue boiled over last December when Kimunya declined to expedite the government gazette notice, making it impossible for the sugar board and the Kenya Revenue Authority to set a date for traders to start importing the sugar” (…) “The scandal has further tarnished Kibaki’s image as he struggles to recover from a series of similar scandals that cost the taxpayer more than $100million between 2003, when he came to power, and 2004, when the details of the theft of public resources began to emerge” (…) “Kenya’s sugar needs are 800Â 000 tons per annum. It produces 600Â 000 tons and the remaining 200 000-ton deficit is bridged with imports from Comesa” (Kwayera, 2007).
Footage from KTN NEWS:
Footage from Kenya Citizen TV:
Amina Mohammed said today: “emphatically that the Uganda sugar deal has been blown out of proportion, with the main agenda of the visit totally forgotten” (…) ”That the only matter agreed upon was the establishment of an East Africa Sugar Board to protect Kenya’s sugar and ensure that what is being exported and imported is not from anywhere else apart from the region” (Kulundu, 2015).
The basic information quote on the sugar trade between Kenya and Uganda from the Joint Communique that came out the 10th of August from the Statehouse of Entebbe and the Republic of Uganda:
“President Museveni noted that Kenya exports to Uganda are estimated at $700 million compared to imports worth $180 million, and commended President Kenyatta for implementing initiatives that would contribute to bridging the trade gap. The two Heads of State observed that bilateral trade has potential to grow further and reaffirmed their commitment to the free movement of goods, Labour and services, including the elimination of all trade barriers” (Joint Communique, 2015)
Musailia Mudavadi has said the agreement has killed the goodwill of the 1sh billion bailout of Mumias Sugar Company. Statement on the 14th of August Mudavadi said: “Kenyans need to know what measures the government has taken to prevent unscrupulous importation of sugar from outside the Comesa protocol and channeling it through Uganda to circumvent the regulations under the Rules of Origin principles” (…) “There is a classic example of re-packaging Brazilian sugar and dumping it in the Kenyan market” (…) “The excuse of ‘balancing trade between our sister countries’ should not be used to enter into pacts that undermine local production” (…) “”It cannot be that his Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed says there is no agreement while the President defends the alleged agreement. Is there a pact or not? This contradiction needs correcting” (Ochieng, 2015).
What the ODM fear about the Sugar deal with Uganda:
“Kenya has arrived at that stage. There is clear evidence that we are dealing with a mafia regime in which individuals are pursuing personal interests in the name and the expense of the nation” (…) “The end game is to turn Kenyans into beggars who rely on the generosity of the thieves who will come to our aid through harambees and the other acts of alleged philanthropy” (…) “That is the story of Sugar. The same sugar, imported by government officials is, financing Al Shabaab who recently killed hundreds of university students in Garisssa, most of whom were from Western Kenya” (…) “In Western Kenya, they have attacked sugarcane in a double prolonged strategy. First, they will kill the factories. Next they will buy the factories” (…) “We have asked the president to explain to us how this deal helps the sugarcane farmers” (…) “We have asked the president to explain how this deal will help our industries prepare for the end of COMESA sugar protection period”(…) “Yes Kenyan Sugar is expensive. But it feeds the Kenyan farmers and it educated the children of sugarcane farmers. Yes Ugandan sugar is cheap. But it only feeds Uganda farmers and their children. No nation ever developed by abandoning its products” (…) “Buy Mumias Sugar, Sony Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar and build the country” (Kulundu, 2015).
Cord Statement on sugar deal:
“Sugar production is vital to the economies of Bungoma, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Migori, Narok and Kwale. There are 11 sugar factories in Kenya. Allowing the dumping of sugar in Kenya will devastate the economies of a quarter of the Counties of Kenya and a huge section of the rural agricultural population. This is economic sabotage on a grand scale. Grand Economic Sabotage is a crime. It is treasonable” (…) “ TWO MAFIAS? ONE IN KENYA ANOTHER IN UGANDA: The matter is urgent because of the statistics that Uganda does not produce a sugar surplus to be exported to fill Kenya’s supposed deficit allegedly of 200,000 tonnes. The model we fear is going to be used was last seen in 2008. Back then Hon. Kahinda OTAFIRE a close ally of President Museveni and a former head of Uganda’s intelligence service who is currently Uganda’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, got embroiled in a civil suit involving KSh. 50,000,000 (fifty million) worth of sugar that came into Mombasa from Dubai already in packed in Mumias Sugar Factory packets! It was meant to be dumped in the Kenyan market. Mumias Sugar Factory got involved in the case and two years later the sugar consignment was destroyed. We are headed in the same direction! It seems that a Kenyan mafia has conspired with a Ugandan one to profit from corruption that will serve only to impoverish Kenyans” (Kenya-Today, 2015).
“All CORD and its leader, Raila Odinga have done so far is to point fingers, cast blame, misinform, and compound the despondency already weighing down the sugar growing community” (…) “Mr. Ruto was appointed Minister for Agriculture, farmers were being paid a paltery KES 2500 per tonne of cane delivered to the factories. Because of interventions under Mr. Ruto’s leadership, including the cancellation of sugar permits of know sugar cartels, barons and brokers” (…) “It is well-establish matter of public record that Mr. Ruto bravely confronted sugar importation and smuggling cartels which dumped cheap sugar in the market, short-changing hardworking farmers” (…) “It is a fact that this threat to the monopoly and liquidity of sugar barons affected Mr. Odinga’s personal interests, leading to the unfortunate removal of Mr. Ruto from the Ministry of Agriculture. It is also a fact that Mr. Odinga has been inert bystander at best, or a conspirator of sugar, cartels as the farmers of Western Kenya and Nyanza suffered” (…) “Mr. Odinga has finally confessed that he owes the poor sugar cane farmers of Mumias hundreds of millions of shillings which he casually terms a commercial loans” (…) “Why did Mr. Odinga obtain this so-called commercial loan from poor peasant farmers instead of a approaching a commercial bank whose business it is to lend money?” (…) “We demand from Mr. Odinga and companies associated with him full disclosure of how much they owe Chemlil, Nzoia, Muhoroni, South Nyanza and other millers” (…) “Mr. Odinga is proposing to visit the people of Western Kenya, whom he owes money, his rallies will essentially be a meeting with his creditors. We sincerely hope that aside from cheap politics and empty rethoric, Mr. Odinga will present to the people of Western Kenya a credible repayment plan, outlining how he and companies associated with him intend to repay the money owed, to enable the peasant farmers take their children to school” (InLiveNews, 2015).
More to the story:
“William Ruto has called Raila Odinga “Lord of Poverty” while Odinga has fired back to Ruto calling him “High Priest of Corruption”. Majority leader Aden Duale says “All CORD and its leader, Raila have done is to point fingers, cast blame, misinform and compound the despondency already weighing down the sugar growing community” (…) Mr Duale also says “after the move, payment for sugarcane farmers shot from Sh2,500 to Sh3,800 a tonne and only went down after Mr. Ruto was sacked” (Jodie, 2015).
William Ruto has continued to say online: “Sugar cartels used PM’s office to orchestrate my removal because Gazette notice 3977 I signed cancelled their licences ending their schemes” (…) “While in western (essentially meeting with creditors) aside from rhetoric, I hope Cord presents a credible repayment plan of admitted debts” (…) “how that my friend Tinga (Raila) admits owing peasant cane farmers millions can he explain why he didn’t take this “commercial loan” from a bank?” (…)“Under what circumstances did Mr Odinga and companies associated with him contract a debt of such magnitude with poor innocent farmers?” (Jodie, 2015).
Kiprono Kittony commented to the media: “Importation is not meant to weaken the economy rather it serves to help bring development and collaboration between countries. Politics will not increase sugar” (…) “Most of the sugar companies in Uganda are private, that’s why they are able to produce more and better sugar than us. The Government should do the same and privatize our companies” (Mr. Kittony is the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry), (NairobiToday, 2015).
The former Presidential Campaign Manager for Raila Odinga, Mr. Eliud Owalo has said this about the Mumias scandal: “Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has been accused of systematically running down Mumias Sugar Company during his tenure as the Managing Director of the giant Sugar Miller. He was not MD of Mumias by virtue of being the Governor of Nairobi, and he must therefore be ready to bear responsibility as to costs and consequences of the same without dragging the Party into it” (…) “It does not help the Party cause to continue clinging onto Kidero in the face of serious allegations of graft at Mumias Sugar Company to the detriment of the people of Western Kenya whose single largest source of livelihood is now at stake.The Party risks losing its crucial Western support base by being seen to be protective of Kidero who has crippled the economy of the Western region, yet he is equally known to be one of the most disloyal members of the Party. Embarasingly, the Nairobi County Governer is heavily implicated in wanton land grabbing reminiscent of the Nyayo era yet both ODM and the CORD Coalition has maintained a studious silence on the same simply because it’s our own Governor is at the engine and otho-centre of the land scams” (Nairobi Forum, 2015).
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko also spoke his peace: “I wish to table some audio clips and unfortunately it will not go down well with some people who will lose some confidence in me but for the sake of development of Nairobi County, allow me to table them” (…) “Peposi Freight Kenya Ltd was registered on December 23, 2014 and the next day opened an account at Cooperative Bank, City Hall branch. Sh7.6 million was wired from the Nairobi County Government for services never delivered” (Nairobi Forum, 2015).
Claims of bribes to seal a nice report:
“Drama started when two MPs claimed 20 members who signed the final report complied after a probe on Mumias Sugar Company had received a total of Sh64 Million to expunge some names from the report. The debate comes as the committee is embroiled in an allegations taking bribes to doctor the report over importation of sugar that contributed to crippling of the Mumias Sugar Company” (…) “The allegation and counter-allegation came after Washiali and Fred Outa (Nyando) claimed the MPs, including Committee chair, had received sh4m bribe to shared among 22 members who signed the altered report. Noor is being accused of reiciving the money after Lugari MP Ayub Savula, at a past committee, claimed a cheque from a local bank had been deposited into the chairman’s account” (…) “Washiali said further: “We have a feeling the Sh4m affected the outcome of the report. I know money was deposited into your (Noor) account that made you alter the report. This is the matter of life or death. Tell us who also benefited from it. We will not allow you to take advantage of our people” (…) “Washiali also took on Kimei, claiming he had hinted to him that a further Sh100m was being prepared for members to ensure they come up with “good report” (IGNITEKE, 2015).
Backdrop on Mumias fall and the numbers before the bailout:
It mentioned in the stories. I had started to write a few months ago on this. So this is just the backbone of a article. So here is a draft of numbers and information of the company that got bailed out during the year after terrible economic issues that it had. This here is a little basic and also far from digging through what I had at the time. But this is just a sidepiece to the quotes that are on the Kenyan-Uganda Sugar and trading deal between the countries after the state visit of Uhuru Kenyatta in Uganda around 10-11th of August 2015.
So enjoy the little information on Mumias Sugar Company:
Emis they described Mumias Sugar Company Ltd as this:”Mumias Sugar Company Limited is a Kenya-based company engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of sugar and the production of electricity. It manufactures molasses for industrial users, traders, farmers and individual purchasers” (…) “The Company also produces power through burning of baggasse, a waste product from sugarcane processing” (EMIS – Securities).
The important tales from the annual report of 2014 tells dangerous story. First with Mr. Ameyo describe the matter of the company and sugar industry got hit because of that. This starts with the unexpected low yield of sugarcane from the sugar-belt in Western-Kenya. Part of the operation issues was getting good quality cane. Year of 2014 was the production of Sugar went up by 14%. The Ethanol production from last fiscal year went up 210%. Molasses production went down because quality of the sugar-cane the downturn in production was total of 21%. This resulted in less export of electricity. All of this with also the higher price on production cost went up 18% (Ameyo, 2014).
COTU press release on the Mumias:
“Mumias Sugar Company limited is facing imminent closure soon if the kshs.1Billion promised to the Sugar Company by the government is not effected immediately and the closure will result into the eventual collapse of the Sugar Firm” (…) “he Western Region requesting government offices to intervene and ensure that Mumias Sugar firm does not collapse because such action will lead to over 500,000 families across the country losing their source of livelihood besides the millions of people that depend on the firm both directly and indirectly in the Western Kenya and outside” (…) “At the same time, COTU (K)’s concerns are informed by similar promises by the government that lead to the collapse of Pan Paper Mills in Webuye and we are sure that soon after the collapse of Mumias Sugar firm, Nzoia Sugar Company will be on live and this will no doubt be the worst raw deal that the Kenyan people would have received from its government and it will be an uphill tasks for anybody to revive these plants” (…) “Thousands of workers now at Mumias Sugar Company are at risk of losing their jobs as do other workers within the production and distribution chain and the Kenyan economy will be worst hit at the closure of Mumias Sugar Company” (COTU, 2015).
Certain people owning Mumias money by June of 2015:
“Otifier Logistics is the highest debtor owing Mumias Sugar Company 36.6 million shillings followed by Spectre International Limited which is associated with the Odinga family that has a debt of 33.9 million shillings” (…) “Otifier Logistics that owes Mumias Sugar Company 36.6 million shillings. Second is Spectre International Limited, a company associated with the Odinga family which owes Mumias Sugar 33.9 million shillings for molasses bought from the miller” (…) “Uchumi Supermarkets also features on the list owing the sugar miller 6.6 million shillings for sugar” (…) “Ukwala Supermarket, Nairobi with a debt of 2.8 million and Yatin Supermarket that owes the miller 319,320 shillings” (…) “Unilever Kenya is also listed as having a debt of 2.2 million shillings” (…) “Mumias Sugar says it is owed a total of 241 million shillings by several companies and individuals” (The Uchaguzi, 2015).
Youth from the Mumias Sugar Belt have alleged that the driving force in “reconciliation” of Senator Bonny Khalwale and Governor Evans Kidero is a 50 million prize money being dangled to abort justice:
“All of us victims of the plunder of Mumias Sugar Company, by a powerful politically connected Cartel, are very alarmed at emerging information that corrupt, evil underground maneuvers are underway to kill off the ongoing clamor, for justice and retribution, by elected leaders and wananchi in the Mumias Sugar belt and Western Kenya in General” (…) “the main target is Kakamega Senator Dr. Bonny Khalwale alongside dozens of other vocal leaders both on the ground in Western and here in Nairobi. We are alarmed that a section of top political leaders, are the chief architects of this heinous betrayal of poor sugarcane farmers and are hiding behind what they call “RECONCILING Dr. Khalwale and Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero” (…) “Governor Oparanya’s loud silence, his ruthless attacks against Kakamega County Assembly Majority leader Cleophas Malala and others whenever they publicly condemn the looting of Mumias and his recent fraudulent dolling out of Sh. 200 million to Mumias instead of calling for the thieves who fleeced the Company to return the loot, confirms our worst fears that the ODM top leadership is complicit in the Mumias Scandal and hence their efforts to intervene are a cover up, which we reject” (…) “Apart from Governor Oparanya, CORD Principal Raila Odinga has been admitting on several Vernacular FM stations that his Company is one of the many debtors who owe Mumias Sugar Company a lot of money. Initially he blamed it on the bank that gave his firm some credit facility to buy Molasses from Mumias. Then when the people are expecting him to lead by example by promptly paying the debt, he popped up in a funeral mass in Kakamega last weekend and denied owing Mumias. That double speak tells a lot. He thinks people have short memories such that he can just play around with their problems” (…) “Dr. Khalwale and other targeted Luhyia leaders should know that accepting to back down from the campaign for the punishment of those who destroyed Mumias and accepting to be given financial inducement will be the biggest betrayal of our farmers and the entire Luhyia Community. The only compromise we can agree is a total refund to Mumias Sugar, full payment for farmers’ cane deliveries that are in arrears for the past several years and key suspects in the looting to organize a public repentance and apology by all the thieves” (The Gazette Daily, 2015).
And the final numbers from the End of Year and Financial Statement from the Mumias Sugar Company:
|Total Equity and liability (shs ‘000)||27,400,113||27,281,993||23,563,086|
|Cash & Cash Equivalents at the end of Year||(940,281)||(1,356,124)|
This has been a long enough blog/article for the internet. But its sure sweet with details and sure Raila Odinga doesn’t come out of this well. Because the table is turned on him since he went after Uhuru Kenyatta and he has borrowed money from the company that recently got saved by the government. An because of the scandal of Mumias Sugar Company I had already a lot of documentation before the Uganda-Kenya import deal that was supposed to happen and be ready after the 10th August 2015. Since that Raila Odinga, the CORD and ODM went bananas and wanted to have a upraising in the Western Kenya where the Sugarcane famers that supply the Mumias Sugar Company reside and where the farmers earn their living deliver the cane to the factory with mills it. Though the economy and corruption of the company has come to the surface and tells that something is not right. And if there are personal connections for Odinga and need extra the sugar mills, as it seems there are reasons to doubt the real political plan of Odinga. As Ruto and Kenyatta has bailed out Mumias and might have signed or gotten to a level of planning to open the borders for sugar and commodities as the ‘Joint Communique’ tells. There is certainties that of “President Museveni noted that Kenya exports to Uganda are estimated at $700 million compared to imports worth $180 million, and commended President Kenyatta for implementing initiatives that would contribute to bridging the trade gap” (Joint Communique, 2015). Which tells the story in general that there will be more trading from Uganda to Kenya, and at the same time will also open the borders more from the Kenyan side.
This has sure not been the cup of tea that the Kenyan Government and the President Uhuru Kenyatta wished to see after being for a visit in Uganda earlier this month. Secondly after bailing out of Mumias Sugar Company should seem like the trading agreement with Uganda shouldn’t spoil that, even if they can import Ugandan Sugar, for the simple sense, the Kenyan community might get more easily sell products in Uganda as well. I doubt that the deal and agreement will be a one-way traffic train between the nations. Then its Raila Odinga who isn’t drinking, but the coastal drink of Mnazi. And with the information I get, I miss a lot of leads and structures. I wish I had more rough numbers and actual facts then hearsay and statements from the parties. With the scandals and probes proves that their certainties of some conspiracy, but where it might lead is scary in Kenya, therefore we haven’t been to bottom of it, or that the Mumias Sugar Company and Sugar Cartel has the hold of politicians so they won’t speak, because they getting behind keeping their mouth shut. An Raila Odinga is in debt to the Sugar Company together with other big shots! While the Government and Jubilee want support in Western Kenya so they support Mumias Sugar Company because of the farmers it feed. While this Sugar agreement and import option set it at risk, but that will also be for all the other millers that grind sugar in the Country! But if you want to be good neighbors and trade, you got to import and export produce between them. Which I think is something Uhuru Kenyatta understands and might think in his mind that is a possibility to continue to grow the Kenyan economy. In the end might not be wrong and give an edge to both countries. Not just sugar in the tea that there is in the talks for now, but everything else as well in time after there been an issue with the chickens and Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, and the fisheries and fishing industry for both countries!
Ameyo, Dan – ‘Mumias Sugar Company Limited – Annual Report and Financial Statements’ (30.06.2014)
COTU – ‘imminent closure of Mumias Sugar Company’ (06.06.2015) link:
IGNITEKE – ‘MPs in a bitter row over Sh60m sugar bribe’ (18.03.2015) link: http://ignitekenya.com/mps-in-bitter-row-over-sh60m-sugar-bribe/
Joint Communique Issued During the State Visit by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya (10.08.2015) – 10th August, Entebbe, Uganda, Released by the Republic of Uganda
Jodie, Vanessa – ‘Raila fired me because I cancelled sugar barons’ licences, claims Ruto’ (19.08.2015) link: http://www.hero.co.ke/raila-fired-cancelled-sugar-barons-licences-claims-ruto/
Kenya Forum – ‘ELIUD OWALO CALLS FOR KIDERO AND ABABU TO BE KICKED OUT OF ODM’ (10.03.2015) link: http://www.kenyaforum.net/2015/03/10/eliud-owalo-calls-for-kidero-and-ababu-to-be-kicked-out-of-odm/
Kenya Today – ‘Raila takes Uhuru SUGAR ‘WAR’ to Ground Zero, CORD to hold RALLIES in the SUGAR BELT’ (18.08.2015) link: http://www.kenya-today.com/politics/raila-takes-uhuru-sugar-war-ground-zero-cord-to-hold-rallies-in-the-sugar-belt
Kulundu, Mary – ‘Amina Mohammed: Let Me Put This Matter To Rest’ (19.08.2015) link: http://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/amina-mohammed-let-me-put-matter-rest
Kwayera, Juma – ‘Sugar scam stirs slush fund fears’ (05.03.2007) link: http://mg.co.za/article/2007-03-05-sugar-scam-stirs-slush-fund-fears
Mumias Sugar Company Limited (Kenya) – link: http://www.securities.com/php/company-profile/KE/Mumias_Sugar_Company_Limited_en_2129630.html
NairobiToday – ‘Shock As Experts Now Abandon Raila Odinga Over His Selfish Political Gains & Uganda Sugar Deal Rhetoric’ (20.08.2015) link: http://www.nairobitoday.co.ke/2015/08/20/shock-as-experts-now-abandon-raila-odinga-over-his-selfish-political-gains-uganda-sugar-deal-rhetoric/
Ochieng, Justus – ‘Kenya: Sugar Deal Ruins Mumias Goodwill, Says Mudavadi’ (15.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508150312.html
Statement by the Orange Democratic Movement – KENYANS TO FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVELIHOOD (18.08.2015) link: http://www.kenyan-post.com/2015/08/odm-exposes-ruto-and-uhurus-brookside.html
The Gazette Weekly – ‘Youth allege 50m in Senator Bonny Khalwale and Governor Evans Kidero truce talks’ (02.08.2015) link: http://kakamega411.com/5434/youth-allege-50m-in-senator-bonny-khalwale-and-governor-evans-kidero-truce-talks/
The Uchaguzi – ‘Mumias Sugar says it’s owed shs.241m by several companies and individuals’ (25.06.2015) link: http://uchaguzi.co.ke/mumias-sugar-says-its-owed-shs-241m-by-several-companies-and-individuals/
InLiveNews – Statement from Jubilee – ‘Statement in the interest of the truth for the sake of sugar farmer’ (18.08.2015) link: http://www.inlivenews.com/188807/a-statement-from-uhuru-rutos-jubilee-exposes-raila-odinga-badly-read-it-here/
We live in a time where big multinational companies who do what they can do their business. Buy for one, sell for two. That is capitalism and the dream of getting wealth and generating it. We live in a day and age where multinational companies have vast powers and can use it whatever way they like. They can if wanting to make as much of wealth to circus of companies and hide the earnings in a tax-haven in the Caribbean or in Lichtenstein. But this article or blog will be about that. It’s about another possibility that they can do.
Milking a special type of cow:
Something that isn’t right. Companies can if they feel tell stories and express themselves as they please. Until a certain extent they can if they want to make them look extra good, but if so they shouldn’t play in-between reality and fiction. Especially not portraying stories about their products – they can make their milk being squeezed out a most beautiful cow ever. Even if wasn’t most purebred highland cattle from the western islands of Scotland. Instead it’s made with some lame ass country cow. If a Milk producing company said their entire product was made from Highland Cattle, we as consumer expect the product to be that, right? So if the pieces of production and process is made with fractions of other milking cow it want be pure Highland. It will be milk, but not as promised. Some people would be devastated. Some people would call it fraud. And partly it is, even if pieces of it made with the milk. This piece here will be about similar way of acting one way, and acting another. While telling the public something else. This here is a kind of way to make something greener then it really is. It isn’t really green, but said so. In a way that mislead the public. Some people calls that way of acting for Greenwashing. It’s a nice way to express them in similar incidence. First certain words will be translated like PEF, PET, PTA and LRB. So that people will know what they are. After that I will show what a certain company called the Coca-Cola Company makes which a famous Bottle the famous PlantBottle™.
Words to know:
The first information is that it’s renewable made from Sugercane-polyethylene which has the ability to replace 30% of the petroleum that would have been used for making certain type of plastic. The other good piece of using bio-plastic will be lower-carbon footprint (Sugercane.org).
Hitachi company explains what PTA is: “Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is made by causing a reaction between the secondary petroleum product paraxylene (PX) and acetic acid”. When Hitachi describes PET its like this: “Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) is a general-purpose plastic made through polycondensation of PTA with ethylene glycol (EG). This material has many outstanding properties: resistance to both heat and cold, transparency, electrical qualities, chemical proof and abrasion proof” (Hitachi).
How Coca-Cola endeavors to make the PlantBottle™:
Here is how it has gone from 2011, when Gevo made an agreement with the Coca-Cola Company to make the second generation plant-bottle with Isobutanol. Further commenting on the important factor between Coca-Cola and GEVO: “The global market for PET is approximately 50 million metric tons and has a value of $100 billion, with approximately 30 percent used for plastic bottles. In this next generation of PlantBottle™ packaging, Coca-Cola plans to produce plastic beverage bottles made entirely from renewable raw materials” (Gevo, 2011).
In the same year (2011) Coca-Cola Company made already a deal with Virent: “signing multi-year, multi-million dollar Joint Development and Supply Agreements to scale-up Virent’s plant-based Paraxylene (PX), trademarked BioFormPX, as a route to commercially viable, 100% renewable, 100% recyclable PlantBottle PET resin. In the past, Coca Cola’s PlantBottles have included only 30% plant-based plastic. Virent’s chemical allows the remaining 70% of the bottle to be plant-based” (…) “Virent is one of three companies working with Coca-Cola on PlantBottle technology. The others are Colorado-based Gevo and Avantium, which is based in the Netherlands” (Lane, 2014).
In South Africa in Wadeville outside of Johannesburg, South Africa there is coming a new bottle-plant. This is Africa’s first: “Coca-Cola approved technology for carbonated soft drink bottles thus enabling the closure of the loop in the biggest sector in the beverage market. The 3000m2 Phoenix PET plant, equipped with Starlinger technology, will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry. It will eventually divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles from landfills each year, reducing resource consumption, creating jobs and assisting industry in meeting its target of a 50% recycling rate for 2015” (Parkes, 2015).
Later JBF Industries and Coca-Cola went into a partnership in 2012 to produce bio-glycol that will be used in the new plant-bottle. This will end up with a deal and an agreement that will do this: “Construction on the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year and will last 24 months. At full capacity, it is estimated the facility will produce 500,000 metric tons of material per year. By using plant-based materials instead of nonrenewable materials, the facility will remove the equivalent of 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of consuming more than 1.5 million barrels of oil each year” (Mohan, 2012).
The Dreams of Coca-Cola Company and their PlantBottle™ 2.0:
A spokesman for Coke Scott Vitters commented in 2014 this: “Coca-Cola introduced the world to PlantBottle in 2009. The technology uses natural sugars found in plants to make ingredients identical to the fossil based ones traditionally used in polyester fiber and resins. PlantBottle packaging looks, functions and importantly recycles just like traditional polyester (or PET) plastic, but with a lower dependence on fossil fuels and a lighter environmental footprint on the planet” (…) “Today our first generation PlantBottle technology replaces one of the two ingredients that make PET plastic. Our long-term target is to realize a 100% renewable, fully recyclable plastic bottle. To realize this goal, Coca-Cola is investing millions in local technology companies – companies like Virent in Madison, Wisconsin; Gevo in Englewood, Colorado and Avantium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands” (Vitters, 2014).
“Continuing in rigid high-barrier packaging, polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottle development remains on track. Avantium has entered into an agreement with ALPLA for development of PEF bottles, with the first bottles targeted to reach market by 2016. Avantium has also partnered with Coca-Cola and Danone in the development of PEF bottles”. (…) ”PEF is a next-generation, bio-based, recyclable polyester developed by Avantium on the basis of furanics technology. According to Avantium, PEF has 50-60 percent lower carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based PET” (Rosato, 2014).
Right now the Coca-Cola Company together with other industry packaging companies as Virent, Gevo and Avantium has made this possible: “The PlantBottle 2.0 represents an upgrade to the existing bio-based PlantBottle the beverage company already uses for some of its drinks. This substitute for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles has a 30% bio-based content, principally derived from Brazilian sugar cane supplied by Braskem”. In the future the same companies hope for “The 100% bioplastic bottle is the result of collaboration between Coca-Cola, Geno and Virent to perfect bio-purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Commercial rollout of PlantBottle 2.0 will take place over the next five years, culminating in a full replacement in 2020” (SustPack).
Ringier Plastics commented this: “From traditional PET to recyclable (also known as R-PET) to bio-based PET, technology and environmental properties have come a long way. PET generally consists of 70% terephthalic acid and 30% monoethylene glycol (MEG). But now it is quite possible to produce bio-based MEG from renewable raw materials instead of fossils. Coca-Cola is a pioneer is adopting bio-PET packaging with its PlantBottle™, producing the first ever fully-recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle using 30% of non-fossil material and resulting in less carbon footprint. Coca-Cola aims to convert all its plastic packaging to PlantBottle by 2020 and entered into a partnership with H.J. Heinz Co. to produce ketchup bottles using PlantBottle material” (Ringier Plastics, 2015).
The Marketing Companies making PlantBottle™ what it is:
“Fahrenheit 212 worked with Coca-Cola’s global packaging team to translate a complex and contentious advance in polymer production into a clear and compelling consumer proposition. The PlantBottle brand name evolved from the concept development and strategic positioning work undertaken by Fahrenheit 212 and the PlantBottle icon, which has been now been featured on over 10 billion packages since its launch in 2010, was conceived and created by our in-house design team” (…) “In its first year, PlantBottle was launched in nine global markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and the United States across brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Dasani and vitaminwater” (Fahrenheit 212). The other marketing plan of Coca-Cola company was merged with another agency they did this: “Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign uses Coca-Cola’s iconic red and white color scheme and optical illusions to create intriguing images for the new bottle. The print ads all emphasize a way that plants make us happy, followed by the message that Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is “Up to 30% made from plants” and “100% recyclable.”“ (Oster, 2014). One of Ogilvy & Mather’s ads just below.
It all sound beautiful doesn’t it. Mixing PEF and PET like its nothing? Plastic turned fantastic from petroleum based sort of bottle into plant heaven, right? Is there a reason why it just sounds so magnificent! If so, why does it for the last five years show up a dirty dozens of similar quotes from Scott Vitters in all kind of outlets from the Guardian to the New Zealand Scumbag post? That makes a brother like me curious. Especially when they been cooking this for so long.
Well, there isn’t everybody who has a piece of pay from Coca-Cola Company. This reports I come with now haven’t a clear connection or are in business with the Company. They are separated from it and are on their own. So you should see what their saying and be fascinated.
There many ways of telling how it really is: “Coke invented the Plant Bottle. The Plant Bottle is made from sugarcane, a food source. The Plant Bottle is a PET plastic bottle. The Plant bottle is 100% PET, 70% made from oil and 30% from sugarcane. The Plant Bottle is not biodegradable and lasts as long as the petroleum-based PET however a large segment of the population believes that the Plant Bottle is, in fact, biodegradable” (…) “Coke has invested heavily in rPET bottle-to-bottle recycling. Coke is a large buyer of rPET pellets in China and reputedly is putting rPET in small” (…) “The largest producer of rPET pellets in China is tripling its capacity in 2011” (…) “Krones, one of the world’s largest developers and supplies of machinery to the bottling industry is introducing a series of super efficient PET washing and flaking recycling equipment. rPET flakes and pellets can be manufactured at prices less than virgin PET” (N.Michaels).
Another example of renewable resources usage are PET bottles – called Plant Bottle. Those bottles are composed of PET, produced from terephthalic acid (70 % of mass) and ethylene glycol (30 % of mass). Terephthalic acid comes from oil, whereas glycol is produced from ethanol (deriving from fermentation of vegetable feedstock). Such bottles can be easily recycled, and they can be collected with other (classical) PET bottles. This partially bio-based PET saves global fossil resources and also reduces CO2 emissions. Plant Bottle is 20 % biobased (20 % of the carbon present in the material comes from renewable resources) and 30 % bio-massed (30 % of the mass of the material comes from renewable resources) and a simple scheme on figure 12 shows how the Plant Bottle is made (Plastice).
Gendell said in 2012 this about the PlantBottle: “The first complexity is that only a portion is plant-based, so the PET is also composed of some things that ought to stay within a technological closed loop” (…) “The other complexity is that there must be a mechanism by which the plant-based material may return to nature and participate in the biological cycle. Even if the first complexity were resolved by making PET entirely from plant-based materials (which is not truly possible today, considering all the catalysts and polymer chemistry whatsits that are not made from plants), the PET would still be an inherently non-biodegradable material” (Gendell, 2012).
In Denmark a Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe is a Danish Consumer Ombudsman says this: “criticized Coke’s use of several marketing ploys, including the use of the word “plant,” excessive green colors and a circular-arrow logo inspired by the familiar symbol for recyclability. The ombudsman also noted a lack of documentation to support Coke’s claim that PlantBottle is “environmentally friendly” or has a “reduced carbon footprint.”” (…) “the bottle contains only a maximum of 15 percent plant material — a percentage he said hardly justifies the designation “PlantBottle.”” (…) “The Consumer Ombudsman requested the trader to indicate the minimum percentage of plant material in the bottle or to explain more clearly why the plant material proportion of the bottle was specified as ‘up to 15 percent” (Zara, 2013).
The issue with getting a 100% Bio-PET bottle is a big issue for Coca-Cola Company. Ordinary PET or 30% Bio-PET bottle has Petroleum-based component considering the bio-based in PEF. The Plastic Packaging Expert Gordon Bockner: “PEF molecule is a contaminant in the existing PET stream. A very small amount of PEF will (a) reduce the performance characteristic of the resulting PET/PEF blend and (b) neither will the blend be crystal clear and glossy, which are two of the key (marketing) attributes OPET. It is, therefore, not realistic to suggest that the two resins might be successfully blended to make a commodity LRB packaging resin” (Pierce, 2014).
Liz Baird the Environmental Consultant has said this about the PlantBottle:”When a company uses their marketing to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer, but they are spending more money marketing than they spend on being green, it’s called greenwashing” (…) “For example, there are some companies who tout their products as green, but if you look at the list of ingredients, palm oil is one of them. Harvesting palm oil is extremely dangerous to the orangutans” (EcoDaily, 2015).
This here story here is about the 30% Bio Sugarcane based PET Resin and the rest of the bottle 70%. Not the newly released bottle that is supposable 100% BioBased Plant bottle. It hasn’t been addressed yet because I don’t see how it’s made possible and there aren’t reports or scientific how the whole PET resin is made. Therefore I won’t address it today. This here is just a full case on how Coca-Cola Company has described the infamous Plantbottle™. So since this original Plantbottle™ 1.0 is 30%. And call all natural you get the feel of a greenwash perception scheme. That isn’t fair for the consumer or society. It even got a Danish Ombudsman on the tail, but the same scenario and drop hasn’t made a fuzz where else it has been released, this is something about the leniency towards the Coca-Cola Company in these countries that has this specific bottle. That you have many companies on all sides of the globe focusing on how to make a Sugarcane bottle instead of a petroleum-based one, the first step was using 30% of the Bio PET resin. If they will fix it and make it, also make sure that it can contain the material that it’s talking about. It can’t be either or. Has to been made for a certain type of PET-Resin to make it hard enough to be a bottle for production-line and to contain the sugar-caffeine-carbonated-liquid called Coke from Coca-Cola Company.
Wonder how it will be 100% compared to the 1.0 type of bottle. That will be another story. Would be another story to see how the produce and production of Plantbottle 2.0 who supposed to be 100% made of sugarcane. And I might go into detail about that if I get the hold of that information. I can’t write it out of the thin air. Got to taste the carbonated sugar-water and then get the feel of the flavors and ways. Peace.
EcoDaily – ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green – Labeling Can Be A Guise’ (01.07.2015) Link: http://ecodaily.org/its-not-easy-being-green-labeling-can-be-a-guise/
Parkes, Lisa – ‘Africa’s first Bottle-2-Bottle Plastic Recycling Plant Opens its Doors in Wadeville’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://www.petco.co.za/ag3nt/system/about_petco_dynamic_blog.php
Oster, Erik – ‘Ogilvy & Mather NY Introduces PlantBottle for Coca-Cola’ (09.06.2015) Link: http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/ogilvy-mather-ny-launches-plants-make-us-happy-for-coca-cola/67789
Mohan, Anne Marie – ‘Coca-Cola enters partnership to expand PlantBottle production’ (27.09.2012) Link: http://www.greenerpackage.com/bioplastics/coca-cola_enters_partnership_expand_plantbottle_production
Fahrenheit 212 – ‘Coca-Cola PlantBottle – Defining the Consumer Proposition for Bio-PET’ Link: http://www.fahrenheit-212.com/coca-cola-plantbottle/
Rosato, Don – ‘Green plastic barrier packaging material and process advances’ (28.07.2014) Link: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/green-plastic-barrier-packaging-material-and-process-advances/food-beverage
Pierce, Lisa McTigue – ‘PEF will not oust PET for beverage bottles anytime soon’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.packagingdigest.com/resins/pef-will-not-oust-pet-for-beverage-bottles-anytime-soon140724
N.Michaels: ‘Why and When will Bottle-to-Bottle rPET Technology Dominate?’ (03.12.2010) Link: http://theplanetbottle.net/news/2010/12/why-and-when-will-bottle-to-bottle-rpet-technology-dominate/#sthash.QksuvCPg.dpuf
Lane, Isabel – ‘Coke invests further in scaling Virent’s paraxylene production for PlantBottle’ (09.09.2014) link: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2014/09/09/coke-invests-further-in-scaling-virents-paraxylene-production-for-plantbottle/
Gendell, Adam – ‘The catch behind Coca-Cola’s switch to plant-based bottles’ (10.10.2012) Link: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2012/10/10/catch-behind-coca-colas-switch-plant-based-bottles
Ringier Plastics – ‘Bio-based PET shows the way forward’ (07.05.2015) Link: http://www.industrysourcing.com/article/bio-based-pet-shows-way-forward
Vitters, Scott – ‘Statement of Scott Vitters General Manager, PlantBottle Innovation Platform The Coca-Cola Company United States Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry United States Senate June 17, 2014’
PTA – ‘Production process for purified terephthalic acid (PTA)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pta.html
PET – ‘Production process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pet.html
Sugarcane.org – ‘Bioplastics’ Link: http://sugarcane.org/sugarcane-products/bioplastics
SustPack – ‘Coca-Cola Gives Expo Debut To 100% Bio-Based PlantBottle’ Link: http://www.sustainability-in-packaging.com/news/coca-cola-gives-expo-debut-to-100-bio-based-plantb
Gevo – ‘Bio-based Isobutanol to Enable Coca-Cola to Develop Second Generation PlantBottle™ Packaging’ link: http://www.gevo.com/?casestudy=bio-based-isobutanol-to-enable-coca-cola-to-develop-second-generation-plantbottle-packaging
Zara, Christopher – ‘Coca-Cola Company (KO) Busted For ‘Greenwashing’: PlantBottle Marketing Exaggerated Environmental Benefits, Says Consumer Report’ (03.09.2013) Link: http://www.ibtimes.com/coca-cola-company-ko-busted-greenwashing-plantbottle-marketing-exaggerated-environmental-benefits
Patent – ‘Method of making a bottle made of fdca and diol monomers and apparatus for implementing such method’ (31.08.2012): http://www.google.com/patents/WO2014032731A1?cl=en
Plastice – ‘Bioplastics – Opportunity for the Future’ (2013) Link: http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/outputlib/Plastice_Bioplastics_Opportunity_for_the_Future_web.pdf