SABMiller eager to brew
“SABMiller’s 10 sustainable development priorities provide us here in Namibia with an effective framework for managing our most significant social, environmental and economic impacts on our Namibian communities. At a high level SABMiller Namibia will focus on three priorities material to all our operations namely combating alcohol abuse, making more beer using less water, and encouraging local enterprise development in our value chains,” said Cobus Brewer, Managing Director of Castle Brewing Namibia.
Brewer recently made these comments to the Economist when quizzed about the local brewery and the extent they would go, amongst other things to grow the crop necessary for the production of beer locally and support a number of locally based black economic empowerment suppliers in Namibia.
Said Brewer, “ Our new brewery will need production materials and services that could be provided by Namibian suppliers. We will develop a supplier development plan, which amongst other things aims at increasing local supplies of production inputs and increased procurement from broad-based black economic empowerment suppliers in Namibia.”
He pointed out that growing crops locally would not necessarily be a given and said, “The local feasibility study will be conducted to firstly analyse the economic viability of sourcing local crops from a value chain perspective. By nature most crops still need to go through various processes before they are ready to be used in brewing. These processes requires additional capital investment and high levels of usage in order to make it economically viable.”
Brewer mentioned the fact that SABMiller would be looking into the idea of growing the crops locally: “Once economic viability is established the company will engage with local farmers and work with suppliers where appropriate to use locally grown crops. By pioneering the use of traditional crops such as sorghum and cassava in brewing, SABMiller is able to open up new opportunities, markets and incomes for local farmers and communities.”
“In the foreseeable future this may become possible in Namibia as well. The Namibian agricultural landscape will be assessed in order to establish viability of agricultural programmes and supply of quality agricultural raw materials to our newly established and soon to be operating brewery,” said Brewer.
“One very important ingredient in the making of beer is water. We rely on large quantities of high quality water in order to make our beer, so water quality and availability are of vital concern. Our approach to water management starts with making our breweries as water efficient as we can. Water management is also one of SABMiller’s sustainable development priorities and as such we have a responsibility to promote responsible use of water throughout our operations and encourage suppliers to do the same,” concluded Brewer.
The brewery is scheduled to commence operations by the middle of the year and will have the capacity to brew 260,000 hectolitres per year.