A pillar of sustainable business operations in the Heineken Group is the increase of local sourcing of raw materials. Until 2020, the Group set ambitious targets from its Africa and Asia operations to have increased this parameter to at least 60%.
At Bralirwa, we look at local sourcing of raw materials not only as a means for ensuring long term sustainability of our business but also as a responsible way of doing business that contributes to the expansion of local economies.
In light to this, we aim to guarantee a long-term, sustainable supply of raw materials while improving farmer’s livelihoods and raising supplier’s standards.
Sustainable sourcing is fundamental to our long-term success; we depend on securing high quality raw materials to make our products. Consumers expect our products to be sourced and manufactured responsibly, and we need a transparent and traceable supply chain that upholds high standards of business conduct and respect for human rights and the environment.
It’s a complex challenge that requires collaboration and transparency among stakeholders spanning the entire value chain. One example of how we are tackling the call for local sourcing is a joint venture with Minimex, a Rwandan maize milling company which led to the creation of Bramin maize Farm to guarantee production of maize grits used in production of some of Bralirwa’s beers.
Bramin is a mechanized irrigated maize farm. It represents one of the first modern, large scale maize farming private enterprise in Rwanda. The farm was established to ensure availability of locally produced quality maize as an input to some of our beer production. This local maize is progressively substituting imports from outside the country and through it we are sustainably improving the lives of many farmers.
Bramin Farm has provided Bralirwa Plc with a large part of the maize needed to brew some of its beers, turning the company’s local sourcing ambition to source 60% of raw materials locally by 2020 into reality. All this had to be done on land that was remote in location (Ndego- Kayonza District) and in a country where no such commercial agricultural projects had been attempted before.
The project is in a subsistence farming area, and thanks to it more than two hundred new jobs have been created. Employees are trained in modern farming methods, the maintenance and repair of farm machinery as well as in social subjects including nutrition and health.
HEINEKEN through Bralirwa Plc has been an important partner for Rwanda over decades and has a huge all round impact across the Rwandan economy. This pioneering Farm is an excellent example of how we bring this diversity of activity and enterprise to life.