KENTUCKY Fried Chicken (KFC) Local Store Marketing Coordinator, Ramafahla Thamae, has assured Basotho of the quality of its products.
The reassurance comes amid concerns by consumers that the popular fast-food outlet could be forced to sell poultry products imported from the United States of America (US).
Last November, South Africa and the United States were at loggerheads over the former’s refusal to accept meat and poultry imports from the US citing, among other things, the risk of the meat getting contaminated in transit.
In January, the US responded by threatening to suspend South Africa’s trade benefits on agricultural goods under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) if American poultry products were not allowed into South Africa by 15 March.
South Africa has since changed its stance on the matter. However, Basotho are concerned KFC’s local franchises could soon start serving the ‘imposed’ meat, hence Mr Thamae’s reassurance. KFC has five outlets in the country with four in Maseru and one in Butha-Buthe district.
“KFC sources 100% of its chicken and fresh salad ingredients from local suppliers,” Mr Thamae said.
“All KFC Lesotho restaurants source all our chicken from the same suppliers that supply South Africa’s favourite premium retailers.
“KFC supports local entrepreneurs where possible and continues to find pioneering solutions to work closely with franchisees and its customers without compromising the brand’s global standards.”
Mr Thamae also said the new Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) operated at the country’s borders by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) had earlier presented a major challenge in KFC’s importation of goods. He said working together “with key partners” he hoped the challenges would all be resolved.
“KFC is an inclusive brand that welcomes diversity and above all, strives to be accessible to all customers in order to deliver the best brand experience.
“Like many businesses in the country one of the key challenges include cross-border issues such as systems offline. KFC continues to work closely with its key partners in Lesotho to make sure such challenges get resolved,” he said.
Mr Thamae also said the company had strengthened its Corporate Social Responsibility over the years through a campaign that encourages children to become healthy through sporting activities.
“As part of KFC’s commitment to pioneering solutions and creating connections, the brand places social responsibility at the heart of what it does and remains dedicated to making a positive impact in communities. The brand delivers on this commitment through the KFC Lesotho Add Hope Project.
“KFC has also committed to making a difference in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders by encouraging them to live healthy lifestyles through sports development and education. With the annual KFC Football Beat launched in 2015—a five-a-side soccer tournament for boys and girls aged between 10 and 14 years—kids now have an opportunity to really get active,” Mr Thamae said.