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December 17, 2008

Beer company to create 15 000 jobs through small-scale agriculture





Brewer SABMiller announced its intention to significantly increase its use of local sourcing, as part of a commitment to maximise economic development in the markets where it operates.

SABMiller aims, by 2012, to increase the number of smallholder farmers it buys raw materials from by 15,000. This would be achieved by expanding its current projects in India and Africa, including Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda; taking the model into new markets in Africa and Latin America and introducing new crops to existing programmes.

SABMiller CEO, Graham Mackay, said: "For us, a healthy, growing economic environment in the communities where we operate is the key to achieving business success. It is therefore in our interest to invest capital in local economies, to use small enterprises to supply and distribute our products, and to create jobs for local people and develop their skills. "

The announcement comes with the publication of the group's Enterprise Development Report, which demonstrates the work that SABMiller is carrying out to create sustainable economic opportunities for small entrepreneurs throughout its supply chain.

In markets such as Africa, India and Latin America, SABMiller is increasingly considering the merits of local sourcing. In each market, this has solid commercial objectives, ranging from benefits in improved quality, creating new affordable products, security of supply and generating savings on import costs.

In addition to generating economic growth in the agriculture sector, SABMiller is investing $4m this year to encourage entrepreneurship in South Africa, Botswana, Colombia and Hungary. Its Colombian entrepreneurship programme alone aims to create 30,000 new jobs in the next ten years.

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