Private and government-owned tea companies in Nandi County have been caught cheating farmers out of their hard-earned cash through use of fraudulent weighing machines.
The county’s Department of Trade, Investment and Industrialisation conducted an impromptu inspection and discovered the tea companies have been fleecing farmers through the use of ‘unjust’ weights and measures instruments every time they deliver their green tea leaves to the factory.
Trade Executive Kiplimo arap Lagat said the department had received a myriad of complaints from farmers across Nandi who accused the managements of tea companies of exploiting them.
“The department of trade conducted a random inspection in factories and discovered that factories were indeed using faulty weighing and measures equipment,” he said.
The trade CEC has now ordered the managements of all tea factories in Nandi to bring their machines to county offices for calibration to ensure they have zero error.
“All tea companies have now received a warning letter against using uncalibrated weights and measures and have also received orders to forward all their weighing equipment to our county offices for calibration to ensure just trade,” said Mr Lagat.
The CEC complained that greedy dealers in the tea industry in Nandi have been reducing kilogrammes in their zeal to make more money.
He added that the county would henceforth take legal action against any trader found using fraudulent weighing scales.
“The Weights and Measures and the Trade Description Acts empowers our county weights and measures officers to carry out inspections and to prosecute offenders,” said Lagat.
He added: “The county will henceforth sue any tea company or trader found to be practising unfair trade through fraudulent measuring and weighing machines.”