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BAT Kenya launches 2022 Sustainability Report

British American Tobacco (BAT) Kenya has launched its 2022 sustainability report aimed at reducing health implications and offering less risky products for its consumers.

BAT Kenya product portfolio comprises of a range of high quality and innovative products, including cigarettes (combustive products), rug tobacco as well as tobacco-free oral nicotine products.

BAT Managing Director (MD) Chrispin Achola said, “Over the last couple of years, since we started growing tobacco in Kenya, we have planted an average of about 2 million trees every year, additionally, having planted about 58 million trees since 1978,” said Achola.

He was quick to note that one of the biggest issues they have is the negative health impact of their products on consumers.

“If we are going to talk about sustainability, it has to start with us being able to address the potential health impact of our products on consumers,” stressed Achola.

He specifically mentioned the nicotine pouches which are tobacco-free and can be found in the market under the brand name of Velo.

In this product, according to Achola, nicotine is ingested into your body and flows through the blood stream having no combustion, no intoxicants associated with it and consumers still get the benefits of nicotine.

“The factory we have here in Nairobi on an annual basis, anything between 65-70 percent of what is produced out of that factory, gets exported into markets in the wider african region,” BAT Managing Director (MD) Chrispin Achola explained.

The MD stated that BAT Kenya grows tobacco through over 2000 contracted farmers producing 5,000 tonnes of tobacco annually.

He added that they also have a green leaf threshing company based in Thika that does processing and selling of the tobacco.

Also speaking at the event, BAT Chairperson Rita Kavashe said that BAT Kenya’s main agenda is to build a high growth consumer goods business that is consumer centric with sustainability at the core of action.

“Our ambition is to increasingly transform our business from traditional cigarettes to innovative and less risky nicotine products as an alternative to smoking. This speaks to our consumer centric approach in meeting the fast evolving preferences of our adult consumers,” Kavashe reiterated.

The Chairperson further said, “An important group is our tobacco farmers who we connect with to grow the best quality leaf for our tobacco products. We have invested in them by having farmers’ programs which are aimed at enhancing their livelihood.”

By Rhoda Sinigi and Stephannie Ndunge

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