Who Owns Farmers Choice? Aga Khan IV Wealth and Businesses

Smokies and Sausages are some of the sweetest food you can find on the streets, but did you know there is only one primary supplier of all these smokies and sausages? Well, Farmers Choice is the company behind the production of smokies and sausages in East Africa, supplying in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The company is considered one of the richest companies in Kenya, with its electricity bill hitting over Ksh 25 million per month. Interestingly, the company started as a roadside butchery based on Thika Road, and currently, it’s one of the multi-billion companies in Kenya.  In our feature, we cover the transformation of Farmers Choice from a Roadside butchery to a multi-billion meat processing company.

Who Owns Farmers Choice?

Industrial Promotion Services
Photo/Tuko News

The giant meat processing firm is owned by Industrial Promotion Services which operates under the Aga Khan Fund for Economic, founded by Aga Khan IV. However, IPS is not the official founder of the company, before securing the company in 2000, Lonrho Group was the official owner who also had acquired the company from the family that ran the Block Group of Hotels.

The family founded the company in the 1970s starting off as a butchery and with time it grew big launching a pork production house. In 1979, the company decided to venture into sausage production which at the start was disastrous but they ended up coming up with the right product for the Kenyan market.

In 1980, the company rebranded from East Africa Meat Products to Farmers Choice. The founding family later decided to sell the company to Lonrho Group who ran the venture for almost a decade before selling it to Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) in 2000.

Since the rebranding, James Tylor is among the people who have made a huge impact on the company serving as the CEO of the company for over three decades. Before assuming the company’s top position, Tylor was sent to the UK to study more on meat processing and the returns seem to be fruitful as he has achieved the goals of making the company more profitable.

Currently, the company’s product has provided over 300,000 job opportunities to Kenyans and every smokie vendor has a family that depends on his/her earnings. The firm is headquartered in Kahawa West, sitting on a 10-acre piece of land. Additionally, the firm has partnered with external farmers who provide almost 70% of the pigs they slaughter while the rest they rear for themselves.

In order to enhance the rearing of pigs, the company owns 248-acre land in Upland and a 30-acre piece of land in Uasin Gishu.

The Aga Khan IV Family Wealth

Who Owns Farmers Choice
Photo/Courtesy

The Aga Khan is the owner of the business but owns it through their network, Aga Khan Development. The network focuses on different sectors, from tourism to Industrial Promotion Services where Farmers Choice falls under. Speaking of his wealth, he’s ranked among the richest people in the world, not in Africa. His net worth is estimated to be over Ksh 1.3 trillion. Aga Khan is the 49th Imam of Nizari Ismaili, succeeding Aga Khan III in 1957.