First barley harvest for HEINEKEN partnership

First barley harvest for HEINEKEN partnership

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First barley harvest for HEINEKEN partnership

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Sourcing Sustainably

CONTENT: Article

The recent barley harvest in Ethiopia is special for HEINEKEN. The first crops have been gathered from a local sourcing partnership we jointly initiated last year. The project aims to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers whilst securing a reliable supply of quality barley, and is part of HEINEKEN’s pledge to source 60% of raw materials in Africa locally by 2020.

In Arsi and Bale, two central regions of Ethiopia, smallholder farmers have just finished harvesting brand new crop. The seeds for this new supply were sown last year, as part of a four-year public-private partnership programme, with HEINEKEN as a key partner.

The partnership project, known as CREATE (Community Revenue Enhancement through Technology Extension), aims to benefit 20,000 local farmers and the surrounding community. “HEINEKEN is proud to be a leading party in the CREATE project,” says Johan Doyer, General Manager HEINEKEN Ethiopia. “We are committed to the African continent and aim to be a partner for growth for local communities.”

It’s early days for the project, but farmers are starting to reap the benefits. “Since I have been part of this project, I have been able to expand my business, I own my own mill house and I have future plans for expansion,” says local farmer Mohammed Nure.

CREATE-ing opportunity
CREATE, running from 2013 – 2017, is based on a Public-Private Partnership between HEINEKEN N.V, the Dutch Government and the NGO EUCORD (European Cooperative for Rural Development). By improving both the quality and quantity of local crops, the programme hopes to revitalise the barley sector in Ethiopia.

Public-Private Partnerships are instrumental in overcoming bottlenecks in the entire malt barley chain, said Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding last year. She emphasised the importance of close collaboration between public and private institutions for this type of project.

Commitment to Africa and local sourcing
HEINEKEN has a long history in Africa – the origins of our first brewery in the Democratic Republic of Congo go back to 1923. In Ethiopia, we currently own two breweries in Bedele and Hara and are building a third close to Addis Ababa.

We are fully committed to sustainable agriculture and local sourcing and have made it one of our key focus areas within our “Brewing a Better Future” sustainability strategy.

Along with barley in Ethiopia, we also have local sourcing projects in 8 other African countries, such as programmes for the agricultural development of maize in Rwanda and sorghum in Sierra Leone. Together these projects help us towards our ambition to source 60% of our raw materials in Africa locally by 2020. This is a pledge we reiterated at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative event in New York.

Beating targets
We are encouraged by steps already taken towards our local sourcing commitment. Siep Hiemstra HEINEKEN President Africa & Middle East, recently announced: “I am very pleased that we are well on track towards our 60% ambition.” We estimate that our local sourcing projects across Africa have already improved the livelihood of 100,000 farmer families.