KENYA – Unilever Kenya, a leading fast-moving consumer goods company, has announced an ambitious goal to source Sh7.6 billion (US$516.8 million) worth of raw materials from the domestic market by 2025.

The company’s localisation roadmap outlines its commitment to sourcing approximately 70% of its raw material needs from the local Kenyan market, in line with Kenya’s 2030 sustainable development agenda.

As of this year, Unilever Kenya has already exceeded its 2023 target by achieving 49% local sourcing, surpassing the set target of 45%.

The company has invested Sh4.4 billion (US$299.2 million) in sourcing raw materials locally, bringing them closer to their 55% localisation target for 2024.

This strategic shift towards local sourcing is primarily motivated by external shocks, including the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, which have exposed vulnerabilities in the global supply chain.

According to Unilever, the company aims to mitigate these challenges by building a more resilient and sustainable supply chain within Kenya.

Meanwhile, Unilever Kenya has been actively exploring partnerships with local sources, including members of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

In addition to its local sourcing efforts, Unilever Kenya is also dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion having pledged to invest Sh1 billion (US$68 million) in supplier diversity.

As part of their inclusiveness initiatives, Unilever has also formed partnerships, such as the SME Support Centre, aimed at delivering valuable insights through training in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, e-commerce, business mentorship, and coaching.

Recently, during the launch of new variants of their popular Royco spices, Unilever Kenya partnered with Njoro Canning, engaging local farmers from sustainable sources.

Luck Ochieng, Managing Director of Unilever Kenya, highlighted the company’s commitment to sustainability, noting that a high standard of sustainable and quality sourcing is a requirement for the company.

Kenya, like many countries, is facing challenges in achieving its SDGs by 2030.

Florence Syevuo, Executive Director of SDGs Kenya Forum, noted that progress on most SDG targets has been hindered by global setbacks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related tragedies, and geopolitical conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Now more than ever, the world needs all handson deck to recover and accelerate efforts to achieve the SDGs, with Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) becoming an indispensable tool for tracking and reflecting on the development progress made,” Syevuo emphasized.