CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya / Bidco Bev. & Det.-01/Thika

A group of Bidco current and former workers
Date Filed
June 10, 2016
Labor conditions, terms of employment, occupational health and safety, freedom of association, rights of casual workers, employee grievance mechanism
Case Status
Open - Compliance



IFC has an active project with Bidco Africa, a Kenyan private limited liability company that is one of East Africa’s leading manufacturers and distributors of fast moving consumer goods. IFC’s loan of up to US $36.5 million will support the US $46 million expansion of Bidco Africa. Specifically, the proceeds of the loan will be used for the construction and operation of new facilities to expand Bidco’s production capacity in Kenya.


The complaint was filed with CAO on behalf of a group of former and current workers of the Thika plant. The complaint raises concerns related to labor and working conditions, including terms of employment, occupational health and safety, and freedom of association. 


CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in June 2016, and conducted a field visit to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. Subsequent to its field visit, CAO was unable to receive a clear indication from the complainants about how they wish to move forward. As such, CAO was unable to conclude the assessment process. In accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint was referred to CAO's Compliance function for appraisal.


The purpose of CAO’s compliance appraisal is to determine whether or not an investigation of IFC's role in the project is merited in order to provide assurance to the World Bank Group President and the public of IFC’s compliance with relevant social and environmental policies and procedures.


This complaint raises concerns that potentially affect a large number of the client’s employees. While the complainants acknowledge improvements in some areas of the client’s labor practices, they raise ongoing concerns regarding a range of issues that are governed by IFC Performance Standard 2. CAO has decided to conduct a compliance investigation of IFC’s E&S performance in relation to this project, and the Terms of Reference for the compliance investigation were published on April 4, 2017.  CAO conducted a site visit to Kenya in May, 2017.


In March 2018, CAO merged this case with a subsequent complaint, received in May 2017, on behalf of a former employee of the client claiming to represent more than 480 other former employees (Bidco Bev. & Det.-4/Thika). Complainants allege that Bidco Oil Refineries Limited unfairly terminated their contracts, subject them to poor working conditions, and prevented them from joining a trade union. CAO has merged this complaint with the ongoing investigation of Bidco Bev. & Det.-01/Thika, which raises similar issues and is ongoing compliance investigation.


All documents relating to this case are available under "View Documents" below.



CAO has completed its investigation report and circulated it to IFC senior management for Official Response. The written response should be submitted to CAO by October 31, 2018.


Status as of  October 02, 2018

Project information

Project Name & Number
Bidco Bev & Det 33385
Global Manufacturing & Services
F-Al - Other food
Sub-Saharan Africa
Environmental Category
US$23 million A loan and up to $13.5 million B loa

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Closed


  • Under Appraisal: Completed
  • Under Audit: In Process