Supermarkets to disclose sources of their sugar

Supermarkets to disclose sources of their sugar

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has introduced tough rules for supermarkets repackaging sugar for sale at their outlets.

For starters, the standards body is barring retailers from repackaging and branding sugar in their own names, unless cleared by KEBS and the sugar directorate.

The move comes as fears mount that illegally imported sugar has been making its way to consumers.

Retailers will now have to disclose the origin of the sugar, the area where the sugar is packaged and the amount of sugar they intend to sell.

Sugar millers have raised concern that branding of sugar by supermarkets has slowed down movement of their stocks, encouraging the smuggling of sugar into the country.

KEBS said it will impose punitive fines for supermarkets found breaching the regulations.

This comes just a day after the body suspended permits to use the KEBS marks of quality on their products for 368 water bottling firms which have violated the quality and safety standards.

Some of these violations include companies operating without valid permits from KEBS, non-compliance to requirements of the relevant water standards such as the code of hygiene, using suspect sources of water, poor and misleading labelling.

KEBS permits were withdrawn in accordance with the Standards Act CAP 496 of the Laws of Kenya and KEBS scheme of supervision and control.

The suspension came in the wake of complaints from consumers on the quality of bottled water which has been in the market.

Speaking during the a meeting attended by over four hundred  water manufacturing firms in Kenya, KEBS Managing Director, Charles Ongwae, said there has been an upsurge of unscrupulous water bottling firms which are not adhering to the laid down standards and procedures.

The KEBS Managing Director informed the suspended permit holders that KEBS is committed to work with them to achieve the required standards as a condition to recertification.