South African Breweries supports sustainable farming
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The South African Breweries (SAB) has launched The Better Barley Beer programme in the North West province city of Taung, which aims to assist barely farmers with running sustainable and economically viable farms.
Over 100 emerging farmers, covering just over 1,000 hectares of arable land, will participate in the programme, which is supported by a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature of South Africa (WWF-SA).
Taung farmers provide SAB with around 7 percent of the total irrigated barley crop produced as well as fulfilling 6 percent of the company’s maize demands.
The programme is aimed at encouraging local barley production, creating a broad based supply chain for SAB and a sustainable source of income for smallholder farmers.
The programme is an off-shoot of SAB’s broader Sustainable Development initiative known as Prosper, which aims to provide small farming businesses with advice on how to run sustainable operations.
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“We are developing and supporting a sustainable, reliable and commercially competitive local agricultural footprint able to provide SAB with its total raw material requirement. This will help to create jobs, strengthen the local economy and build SAB’s supply chain,” said Thinus van Schoor, General Manager SAB Maltings and Hop Farms.
The programme has a particular focus on reducing water use, improving carbon footprints, soil health, and clearing alien vegetation, as well as protecting and restoring ecosystems.
The programme has been designed around 3 pillars, which include Economic, Social and Environmental Principles. The Economic pillar aims to improve farming management, the Social pillar focuses on health and safety, as well as labour issues, and the Environment Pillar, guides farmers on how to look after soil, crops and the correct use of water.
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