what’s on the tableThe Route to Food Initiative, a driver for safer and healthier agricultural practices, contracted Yellow Agency in December 2019 to create an awareness campaign to empower and inspire Kenyans to demand safer and healthier food and inform farmers and consumers on the harmful effects of toxic chemical pesticides.

The campaign was also meant to get Kenyans to urge and push their respective MPs to join and support a parliamentary petition to ban the use of toxic pesticides in the country and, eventually, create a movement that would shape the future of Kenya on how food is grown and consumed in Kenya.

Client: Route to Food InitiativeServices: Social Media CampaignYear: 2019/2020

Key Challenges

engaging the public

The challenge was how to reach millions of people on social media, arm them with information on how toxic pesticides are affecting them and get them to take action in just eight weeks. We also had to address the fact that Route To Food’s social pages initially had less than 3,000 followers.


setting the table

The only way to get our message across to a mass audience, in a short period of time, was to use social influencers to help spread our message. Our strategic choice of influencers allowed the campaign to reach a diverse Kenyan population. We shot a video of them speaking out on toxic pesticides and had them record individual videos to post on their personal platforms. We then collated all influencer videos and converted it into one final video – THIS WAS OUR PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE.

serving up the idea

Kenyans love their food and are also very vocal about their feelings on chemicals when it comes to said food – the 2019 aflatoxin expose by NTV had Kenyans flooding to social media to voice their outrage.

However, because of years of pro-pesticide campaigns, there was the perception that these chemicals actually helped improve crop yields and eliminated pests. People believed that pesticides could simply be washed from fruits and vegetables which is why the movement to ban harmful chemicals fell on deaf ears.

What they didn’t know is that toxic pesticides not only reside on your food but also IN it (starting at the roots). To get Kenyans to learn more about pesticides and their role in our food supply, we needed to be DIRECT and TO THE POINT.

presenting the menu

CAMPAIGN IDEA: Our Food Is Eating Us#ToxicBusiness #OurFoodIsEatingUS

The outcome

The overall reach of the campaign was astoundingly high from the Route To Food page and from the influencers collectively.

Comments started pouring in as more and more Kenyans were now becoming aware of the message we were trying to drive across. They started tagging their MPs and urged them to sign the petition.

18 MPs promised to support the petition in parliament. Influencers proactively took to main stream media to support the campaign and the video went viral.

On October 2020, the parliament ordered a crackdown on toxic farming pesticides. The National Assembly’s Health committee directed the Agriculture ministry, the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to conduct the audit with a view of banning products that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, endocrine disruptors and neurotic.textMarginTop