Governor Erick Mutai now seeks to mediate row over tea picking machines

Kericho Governor Dr Erick Mutai. [File, Standard]

"We want to work with the tea firms for a win-win situation where the companies will not lose their profit margins while at the same time Kericho residents benefit from the estates through job opportunities," Mutai said.

Mutai made the remarks during an event where Finlay Community Trust awarded Sh32 million in scholarships to 30 students from Kericho and Bomet counties.

The scholarships were given under the Swire Masters Scholarship plan where two students are admitted every year to universities of their choice in the United Kingdom.

At the same time, 28 other students benefited from the 2022 Undergraduate Scholarship, funded by the same Trust. The beneficiaries are from the 11 constituencies in Kericho and Bomet counties.

While commending Finlays for its series of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, the governor said he will be inviting all multinational tea firms in the county, including CVC Capital Partners (Formally Unilever Tea), to round table talks on the matter.

"We want to know the CSR programmes of the other multinational companies in the county. We must discuss the issue as we build a robust community together," Mutai said.

Finlays Managing Director Simeon Hutchinson said the company's strategy and partnerships with different stakeholders are important in ensuring projects it has invested in are relevant to the community.

"Since 2010, the Trust has invested over Sh251 million in education, public health, energy, and water infrastructure projects," he said.