Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Business reiterates commitment made to growing the South African Agricultural sector with R610m investment

Aerial view of world globe imprinted in land at SAB Barley Farm in Caledon, Western Cape.

Caledon. 21 September 2017. The South African Breweries (SAB) and AB InBev have deepened its commitment to growing and developing the South African agricultural sector by recognising the important partnership it has with producers during an inaugural Grower’s Appreciation Day at the SAB Barley Farm in Caledon today.

At least 300 barley producers supply SAB with approximately 320 000 tonnes of the primary brewing ingredient, from dry and irrigated land barley farms. The Grower’s Appreciation Day in Caledon, 100 kilometres from Cape Town in the Western Cape, exposed visiting producers to global agricultural insights and technology appropriate for enhancing the South African farming sector.

A Grower’s Awards ceremony was held one the day recognising barley producers for their exceptional contribution to the industry.

AB InBev holds similar events with its farmer supplier base around the world to showcase new technologies within agricultural production that can improve farmer productivity and profitability, as well as advances in research and development that are driving improved yields and quality through new varieties.
A key focus of the event in Caledon was the new programmes and technologies AB InBev is bringing to South Africa, engaging with SAB’s agronomist team, the research team at the South African Barley Breeding Institute (SABBI), and SAB leadership, to learn more about plans for strengthening agricultural production in the country.
Educational exhibitions were held at the event showcasing several key areas including the malting and brewing process, some of the company’s new brand activations, a map of the world grown with cultivars from across our global programme, and fresh Castle lager brewed predominantly with South African grown and produced agricultural ingredients.

“SAB is committed to driving agricultural productivity, innovation and resilience by supporting its growers and their communities. We support the responsible, sustainable use of land for brewing crops by creating secure, sustainable supply chains and by helping small scale farmers increase profitability, production and social development,” says Ricardo Tadeu, Zone President for SAB and AB InBev Africa.

SAB’s agriculture programmes across South Africa are focused on driving competitive and sustainable volume growth behind the local production of hops, maize and barley, while also leading a transformation agenda within the broader agricultural sector. This is underpinned by a strong and diverse agricultural team of agronomists and researchers.

As part of the AB InBev and SAB combination in late 2016, SAB committed to investing an incremental R610-million into agricultural development within South Africa. At least R115-million of this investment is projected to be spent in 2017.

This investment will focus on driving four main objectives:

  1. Expanding barley production to 475,000 metric tons per annum (from 300,000 metric tons)
  2. Enabling South Africa to move from a net importer to a net exporter of hops
  3. Incorporating an additional 800 emerging growers into the hops, barley and maize supply chains
  4. Creating at least 2 600 jobs within the agricultural sector

SAB Agricultural programmes driving the achievement of these objectives include Women in Maize, where targeted infrastructure investments are made into women owned farms that improve their productivity and profitability, and the Thrive Fund investment into FarmSol, a black-owned agricultural services company focused on developing emerging growers and establishing their market access across various cropping systems within South Africa.
Furthermore, SAB recently established an internal agricultural research and development organization, which will partner with SABBI (South African Barley Breeding Institute), the ARC (Agricultural Research Council) and other research partners to drive advancements in variety development, crop practice and management, and innovative field and data technologies.

Grower’s Awards

SAB held a Grower’s Awards acknowledging and rewarding producers for excellence in barley production and their contribution to the industry.

The winners are as follows:

Barley Producer of the Year – SW Viljoen. Recognised for quality excellence in malting an brewing.
Emerging Barley Producer – Wilmar Adams. Ability to manage production cost, budget and income per hectare.
Lifetime Recognition Award – Thys Swart. Recognition for involvement in the barley industry and for providing a trial site for cultivar evaluation for more than 30 years. He continues to produce barley on an annual basis.
Award for ‘Significant Contribution’ – Heinrich Schönfeldt & MC Dippenaar. Recognition for producing in excess of 5000t of barley during 2016.



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