Uganda protests Kenya seizure of Lato milk

Foreign Affairs ministry officials led by minister Henry Okello Oryem with Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented complaints to the High Commission of the Republic of Kenya for recent restrictions on Ugandan milk and products with the Trademark “Lato.”

MOFA officials  on Wednesday 15th/01/2020 afternoon issued a Protest Note to the Government of Kenya expressing deep concern about illegal seizures of Ugandan made milk and milk products under Lato brand, causing heavy financial losses to the company.

Last week, several traders distributing Ugandan milk in Kenya saw their products confiscated by authorities even when they have evidence that they had paid duties to get the milk into the country.

Kenya Anti-counterfeit Unit raided distributors in Meru in eastern Kenya and confiscated up to 23 tonnes of milk.

Victoria University

The depot owner Pritpal Bhamra told reporters in Kenya that the raid was intended to block investors from doing business and called the raid “politically motivated.”

According to Kenyan media, the same unit had raided two warehouses belonging to one of the largest milk importers and distributors in Nairobi and took away tonnes of milk powder under the brand name Lato Milk.

Lato Milk is processed in Mbarara by Pearl Dairy and is one of the most popular brands in Kenya but the country has recently sought to reduce milk imports because of low prices local farmers there are facing.

Last month, Kenyan officials visited Uganda to ascertain whether indeed the milk was coming from Uganda.

They concluded that Kenya would be imposing a 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on Ugandan milk.

Uganda has seen its milk production grow tremendously with reforms in the dairy sector to 2.6 billion litres a year in 2018.

At least 144 million litres are sold in Kenya every year, according to industry estimates.

Kenyan companies like Fresh Dairy are big processors of milk exported there.

Additional reporting by Uganda Radio Network [URN]



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