SAB and Agriculture

Friday, March 4th, 2016


SAB’s Involvement

A recent study by economics consultancy, Econex, found that SAB’s operations in the agriculture sector added R1.9 billion to the South African economy’s GDP which constitutes a 2.6% of the agricultural sector’s GDP.. SAB-supported farming operations currently sustain about 11 700 jobs in South Africa, with the majority being in the semi-skilled and unskilled categories. This employment impact represents about 1.6% of the total employment in the agricultural sector of South Africa during 2013.

SAB’s investment in the local agricultural sector and its support of local farmers is an important part of the organisation’s overall business strategy and shows its strong commitment to growing the job market.

Prosper plays a part

The Prosper framework sets targets to be achieved by SAB over the next five years in the areas of responsible alcohol consumption, securing water resources, reducing waste and carbon emissions, supporting small enterprises, including our emerging farmers, and the support of responsible and sustainable land use for brewing crops.

Among the five Prosper imperatives, there are two which speak directly to investment in the South African Agricultural sector:

A Thriving World in which we will accelerate growth and social development through our value chains by supporting more than 30 000 small enterprises. The beneficiaries include hundreds of barley farmers in Taung, and a significant percentage of the maize farmers in Kwazulu Natal.

A Productive World in which we support 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. SAB aims to strengthen the Go Farming initiative, through which we will increase local sourcing of agricultural inputs, particularly from emerging farmers. Together with our partners, we will continue to promote sustainable farming practices through programmes like Better Barley Better Beer, precision irrigation and water footprint projects.

SAB believes that its success as a business is linked to that of the communities in which it operates and is therefore acutely aware of its impact on them. As a leading corporate citizen, SAB is committed to working with its partners, NGO’s and government in tackling the challenges which face society to ensure a prosperous future for all.

The Importance of Farming

The agriculture sector in South Africa reports R132bn in revenue annually, making it one of our most lucrative industries in the country. It’s also the primary industry in most rural areas. When we think about agriculture, it’s important to think of it in two parts: The output that comes from the fields and, more importantly, the people who depend on the land for their livelihood. According to the National Development Plan, agriculture has the potential to create close to 1 million jobs by 2030.

Agricultural raw materials including malted barley, maize and hops are key components in the SAB’s supply chain. As such, SAB has become a major force in the South African rural economy, providing direct and indirect employment and income to rural communities through its investment in the local agricultural sector.

The Hops Harvest

The annual hops harvest began in mid February, with an expected output of 830 tonnes of quality hops predicted for the season. The hops industry is vitally important to areas like George, where over 700 seasonal jobs are created.

Learn more about hops:


  • 1% of the world’s hops come from South Africa
  • South African hops are grown uniquely at 34 degrees’ latitude
  • SAB Hop Farms have bred truly African varieties that don’t require extended daylight hours to develop good yields

SAB celebrates our local farmers and the fruitful hops harvest by taking leading the charge for the well-being and continued growth of our country and its people.



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