Environment

We support environmental sustainability and biodiversity and contribute to the communities affected by our business.

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We support environmental sustainability and biodiversity and continue to identify the environmental impacts of all our activities as well as minimise and mitigate these in a responsible manner. 

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Comply with all environmental legislation

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Assess the main environmental impacts of our business activities

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Establish programmes to minimise environmental impacts.

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Provide appropriate training to our employees

Climate Action

Kakuzi PLC has adopted a broader outlook on sustainability issues, ensuring that agricultural engagements are continuously decoupled from environmental impact in line with the SDG 13- Climate Action.

The main risk in agricultural production is weather patterns which are becoming unpredictable over time, increasing the volatility of crop and livestock yields. The frequency and severity of extreme events is increasing as temperatures are projected to continue rising, and rainfall patterns are expected to shift more than they have already.

Kakuzi PLC has scaled climate-smart agriculture to sustain agriculture under a changing environment, which is a major priority in the current development sphere.

Carbon Footprint

Since 2017, Kakuzi has been working with the Carbon Trust in the UK to carefully and scientifically document the amount of Carbon Dioxide our operations produce. By doing this we are able to identify any areas where additional remedial measures are required. The next stage is to measure the amount of Carbon Dioxide our operations sequestrate.

Today’s modern agriculture must look beyond just being Carbon neutral but aim at having a beneficial impact on Climate Change.

At Kakuzi, we aim at using technology to help reduce the use of energy. We also use modern agricultural techniques to minimize agricultural inputs as well as produce products in a manner that lowers atmospheric carbon.

Equally complying with all local energy regulatory requirements, we have fully implemented the recommendations from a statutory energy audit. These include the use of efficient technology, training staff in energy-saving skills and monitoring and documenting energy usage.

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Biodiversity

Riparian reserves at our dams are well managed with invader plant species being removed and many areas being enhanced with indigenous trees.

To date over 36 mammals and over 198 birds’ species have been identified.

Environmental conservation

Kakuzi conducts annual state of the environment audits and environmental self-audits (copies of the reports are deposited with the Director General’s office at NEMA). This helps identify, monitor and mitigate any potential impacts to the environment, community, and wildlife from any of our operations. In supporting environmental sustainability and biodiversity our summary code of practice is to;

  • Comply with all environmental legislation. Assess the main environmental impacts of our business activities
  • Establish programmes and operational controls to minimize environmental impacts identified in each of our businesses
  • Provide appropriate training to our employees and other relevant stakeholders

Further, our agronomic practices are designed as per Good Agricultural Practices to ensure our commercial production is both safe and sustainable. We strive to practice the most responsible production and our approach is always to be environmentally sensitive. We have early detection mechanisms (e.g. monitoring insect - bee populations, ground and surface water analysis, noise level mapping, soils analysis) in place to monitor and identify potential environmental pollution that allows earliest possible corrective action.

Buffer zones of 50 metres against a requirement of 30 metres are planted with indigenous trees that act as a natural carbon sink. We run an active tree planting programme with a target of 500 indigenous seedlings per year per division. For this reason, our operations are both GLOBALG.A.P accredited and Rainforest Alliance certified.

Adopt a tree

Kakuzi runs an environmental programme that champions tree planting with schools to provide greener environments. The exercise aims to have students and their teachers plant trees and take responsibility for post planting care. We donate the seedlings and offer expertise on planting and after care. Trees provide direct, observable benefits to the schools and the teachers and students transfer skills gained to members of their community.

Water

Kakuzi has constructed a series of dams to harness rainwater. Taking advantage of rainwater is the most viable and nature-friendly way to make use of the water resource and reduce competition with other users during the dry season. Rainwater is trapped in 19 dams, holding approximately 12,000,000 cubic metres which is enough to meet the water requirements of Kakuzi PLC.

In 2021, Kakuzi was certified by National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Certification UK, which provides certification services in the food and agricultural sector worldwide.

The Global G.A.P. “Spring” (Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use) certification attests to the fact that the Company promotes sustainable practices on its expansive farms with a view to preserving the environment. “Spring” incorporates a wide range of criteria to assess sustainable water management on the farm; these include legal compliance of water sources and withdrawal rates, monitoring of water consumption, producer impact on sustainable watershed management, best practices in water management, source water protection and measures to demonstrate continuous improvement in water management.

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Crop irrigation requirements

Irrigation requirements are calculated based on evaporation, rainfall and soil moisture data. A combination of data (daily tensiometer reading, weekly average evaporation and daily rainfall records) is used to determine the frequency and the volume of irrigation to be applied to the crop. An efficient irrigation system (micro sprinkler) is used to deliver water on all avocado and macadamia areas. Periodically, physical outputs are taken and recorded to ensure efficiency in the system.

Soil

At Kakuzi, our crop production practices are designed based on Good Agricultural Practices. This improves soil health, expands biodiversity, improving the water cycle, increasing organic matter in soil structure, and sequesters carbon.

Regenerative agriculture is ultimately about how agriculture can have a beneficial impact on climate change by taking atmospheric carbon and capturing it into the soils by rebuilding the soils organic matter content. At Kakuzi we achieve this by combining our tree pruning material and composted organic matter into the soil on an annual basis.

Promote biodiversity

We plant cover crops (Rhodes) in order to protect the soil from weather erosion, improve biodiversity, control weeds and retain nutrients. We also plant nitrogen fixing plants (nitrogen fixer) to assist in fixing nitrogen that the crops absorb.

Minimum tillage

Our soils are only ‘touched’ during planting through cross-ripping. Our weeding practices ensures that we eliminate soil erosion.

Reduce the use of artificial fertilizers

While we use synthetic fertilizers, our fertilization program is based on solid data. Prior to fertilizer application, we carry out soil analysis and leaf analysis. This information coupled with expert input informs our fertilizer program. All fertilizers applied in our fields are analysed for heavy metals and other contamination before application. Simply put, we replace the exact quantity of nutrients that the crop has absorbed from the soils by using both organic and inorganic fertilisers. This preserves a healthy balance of microbes in soil enabling natural relationship between plants and soil organisms.

Through our early detection systems (underground and surface water analysis, bee population in the colonies and the population of beneficial insects), we are able to avoid the negative effects of chemicals seeping into water sources and the atmosphere.

Liming is also based on soil tests

Liming requirement is generally to correct soil pH especially in new plantations which were previously not under good regenerative management. Liming unlocks the locked nutrients in the soil making them more accessible to plants.

Sustainable livestock rearing

Kakuzi has 4,500 heads of cattle grazed on nearly 5,000ha of land. This is a stocking density of 1:1 ensuring sustainability. Our cattle are an integral part of our integrated farming systems with the grazing patterns carefully managed to preserve our water catchment areas.

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Waste

  • We segregate our waste at source;
  • Organic waste is composted into compost manure and used in our kitchen gardens;
  • Metal waste is sold to licenced scrap metal dealers;
  • Plastic waste is reused to raise seedlings in our nurseries.

At Kakuzi, the waste generated is managed according to the Global International Industry Practices (GIIP) in circular economy.

The Company has implemented measures to control and limit the amount of waste generated by developing and deploying environmental and waste management policies.

At the farm, waste storage, treatment and disposal practices do not pose health or safety risks to employees and ecosystems. The waste management policy includes documenting origin of waste, volume and safe means of disposal.

The waste produced is segregated at source to facilitate re-use, recycle and composting. The company prioritises product suppliers that minimise waste associated with their products and that access used packaging and containers for recycling. For instance:

  • Macadamia husks are composted and returned to the farm. This adds to the soil nutrient and reduces the use of fertilisers. The shells are used as fuel at the macadamia factory and in internal road repairs to manage excess dust.
  • Liquid waste. Kakuzi PLC uses biodigesters and waste stabilisation ponds to manage liquid waste from processing facilities. To ensure that the Company breaks down the waste, the constructed wetland is designed and built to allow ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural sunlight to penetrate. The Company also introduced essential micro-organisms and water plants to optimise the efficiency of the system.
  • Avocado and Macadamia pruning waste. These are chipped and put back into the soil to rebuild the soil’s organic matter, capturing atmospheric carbon in the soil.
  • Hazardous waste (fertiliser bags and exchemical containers). These are collected, documented and disposed of through the National Environment Management Authority’s (NEMA) approved waste handlers.
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We pride ourselves on being environmental stewards. We are partnering with other stakeholders to conduct trials, on our farm, to adopt alternative solutions.

William Abere, Compliance and Environmental Manager