A second supermarket in the United Kingdom (UK) has suspended avocado supplies from Kakuzi Plc, days after Tesco supermarket did the same.
Lidl supermarket becomes the second supermarket in UK to suspend supplies from Kakuzi, following reports of human rights violations to its workers including killings, sexual assault, attacks, false imprisonment, and other forms of serious mistreatment.
“Following the most recent allegations, we have temporarily suspended our supply from the grower while further investigations are undertaken,” Lidl communication manager Glenda Rochead said.
Seventy-nine Kenyans have already launched a legal claim in the High Court in London against the Camellia Plc (and other UK companies in the Camellia Group) for alleged human rights abuses by its Kenyan subsidiary, Kakuzi Plc.
The case is being brought with the support of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).
Camellia Plc is listed on the London stock exchange and is a large agricultural business which owns plantations around the world, employs over 78,000 people and in 2019 generated revenues in excess of £290 million.
The attacks are said to have been part of a pattern of systemic violence and intimidation of villagers by Kakuzi guards over many years and which have been documented by local human rights organizations.
In a Company Announcement on 8 October 2020, Camellia claimed that it has “recognized alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) mechanisms locally so that any allegations can be properly examined.” Further, it claimed that investigations are being “hindered by UK lawyers Leigh Day’s insistence on anonymity”.