NB tightens its partnership with local farmers, entrepreneurs

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Nigerian Breweries Plc has deepened its partnership with local entrepreneurs and farmers to harness huge value chain from its backward integration policy.

Mr. Patrick Olowokere, the company’s Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager, explained that the company was consolidating its local sourcing of inputs for its operations and has fast-tracked its plan to attain 60 per cent local input sourcing to 2018 as against the initial 2020 target.

During a tour of Psaltry International Limited, one of Nigerian Breweries’ major raw material suppliers, in Alayide village, Ado Awaiye, near Iseyin, Oyo State, Olowokere said that the strategy was to identify organisations that could produce raw materials and ancillary products as inputs for its business.

These organisations, he explained, would be supported and provided the guarantee of a ready market for their products. These value chain models, according to him, have been successfully experimented in the areas of packaging material, sorghum and cassava development models.

He revealed that the company has also made progress in increasing the supply of sorghum used for some of its beverages as more than 100,000 metric tonnes of the cereal is annually sourced locally.

“Over 250,000 farmers spread across several agronomic zones in the north have been impacted by our sorghum value chain programme as at 2013.”

Currently, the company’s brands are packaged using locally sourced packaging materials such as bottles, cans, crates, cartons, crown corks, and labels, among others. As at 2016, 99 percent of these packaging materials were locally sourced, opening a wide opportunity to clusters of local entrepreneurs.

Similarly, the company has since 2015 been working with Psaltry International Limited, a local cassava processing company, to optimise the cassava value chain in the country by providing industrial quality cassava starch to extract maltose syrup for use in its brewing process.

The cassava processing firm has, today, become the biggest revelation coming out of the backward integration story. MD/CEO of the firm, Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, informed journalists last week that the firm has created a supply chain involving up to 5,000 farm families which included more than 2,000 registered and unregistered out grower farm families, marketers, transporters and retail input suppliers.

She added that the company has saved the nation more than $7 million in foreign exchange in the past two years through local provision of processed cassava starch for industrial use.

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