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, which is one of East Africa’s leading manufacturers and distributors of fast moving consumer goods. The 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. Pursuant to CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint was referred to CAO's Compliance function for appraisal.


The purpose of the 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 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.



CAO's appraisal report was completed in March, 2017. Terms of Reference for a compliance investigation were published on April 4, 2017. The compliance investigation is now underway.


Note: A CAO assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of complaints. Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and determine what options are available to address the complaint through CAO's Dispute Resolution and Compliance functions. 

Status as of April 04, 2017

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