Governors want a regulatory framework to be put in place to compel millers to indicate the source of the sugar that they repackage and sell under a local brand.

The county bosses, under the umbrella body of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), want retailers to acknowledge the source and avoid the current scenario where sugar with unknown sources is packaged.

The officials want the standards body to take charge of ensuring compliance in disclosing the source of the sweetener in retail outlets.

“…develop and gazette clear regulations on the repackaging of sugar to ensure retailers acknowledge the source of the sugar. Kenya Bureau of Standards to play its role of enforcing regulations on the packaging of local and imported sugar,” said the governors.

The regulatory framework to guide this will rekindle the wars between Kebs and retailers over naming the source of the sugar as was the case in 2014.

Then, Kebs tightened the noose on the former retail giant Nakumatt supermarket over its blue label that saw it put its brand name on goods that they do not make at the expense of manufacturers.

The county bosses also want the government to create a state agency that will handle sugar imports to ensure the correct amounts are imported in times of deficits. This is aimed at curbing the flooding of the market with cheap sugar at the expense of farmers.

“The government should create a state agency to handle sugar importation whenever deficits arise. The Kenya Sugar Board in consultation with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics should determine the deficits,” said the leaders.

The governors made the remarks at the end of the sugar conference in Kakamega, which brought together stakeholders from sugarcane growing zones to discuss the challenges that the sector faces.

The cane industry in Kenya is currently undergoing a lot of challenges including a shortage of cane to mill and financial constraint that has seen some grapple with payment of farmers.