CREATE-ing local sourcing opportunities
Local sourcing is a key part of HEINEKEN’s partner for growth strategy and supporting the communities in which we operate is a central Company belief. To help financially empower farmers and their communities, we have set an ambitious target to source 60% of our agricultural raw materials locally by 2020. In 2013, we launched the Community Revenue Enhancement through Agricultural Technology Extension (CREATE) programme to accelerate our sourcing initiatives in the region.
CREATE is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD), as well as a number of NGOs. HEINEKEN has the overall responsibility for the implementation of the project and we will contribute more than USD4 million from 2013 to 2017. This Public-Private Partnership approach is an effective way to share expertise and collaborate with local governments to help local farmers to improve their agricultural practices.
The objectives of the CREATE project include:
Beer can be made from many different grains, including barley, rice, sorghum and maize. The relevant crop in each country depends on the local conditions and the CREATE project focuses on malt barley in Ethiopia, maize in Rwanda and sorghum in Sierra Leone.
Supplying higher-yielding barley seeds and training are key elements of the CREATE project in Ethiopia. EUCORD will train the farmers on soil preparation, planting, fertilizer use and how to treat barley post-harvest. This will help them to further improve their productivity as well as the quality and quantity of their crops.
HEINEKEN has committed itself to buying this barley as an ingredient for local brewing, providing security for the farmers and their families. This agreed demand enables collaboration with local microfinance organisations, which allows farmers to obtain short-term loans to buy the better seeds and fertilizers needed to improve yields.
In the coming years, the project will reach 20,000 farmers and we aim to produce 20,000 tonnes of local barley. The Ethiopian Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is a key partner in the development of the Ethiopian barley supply chain. It provides support with other governmental agencies at both the federal and regional levels, as well as providing input on specific agricultural information needs. The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) contributes with research, knowledge and experience on improved barley varieties for the local Ethiopian growing conditions.
The CREATE initiative in Sierra Leone started in 2013. One of the project’s primary objectives is to increase the income of at least 2,000 farmers and their families engaged in sorghum cultivation. Another goal is to improve the quality and quantity of the sorghum being produced, as we aim to produce more than 1,000 tonnes of sorghum per year.
Key stakeholders in this project include HEINEKEN Operating Company Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), as well as the farmers and communities who supply sorghum to SLBL.
As a result of this initiative, SLBL is currently sourcing 44% of its agricultural raw materials locally.
The CREATE project in Rwanda aims to increase food security and improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers by further developing local maize production.
The project builds on the existing Bramin Farm joint venture between Bralirwa and local maize miller Minimex, which has already created 120 new jobs and trained employees in modern maize farming methods and in the maintenance and repair of farm machinery.
Farmers in the CREATE project will be supported with improved seeds and training, and the crops they grow will be connected to local HEINEKEN Operating Company Bralirwa’s maize supply chain.