Supporting local suppliers
Using local suppliers enables us to reduce our costs and respond quickly to market opportunities. To help them thrive and grow with us, we provide technical assistance and other types of support.
Initiatives during the year included working with local farmers in countries such as Uganda and South Africa to help them produce sustainable crops of barley, sorghum and other raw materials needed to manufacture our products. In some cases these projects have created new markets, providing local communities with additional sources of income. In Uganda, for example, farmers are now growing a new variety of sorghum to help our business there to produce a new low-cost beer, Eagle Lager. This project alone has injected US$1.3 million into the local economy.
We also provide business advice and financial assistance to a variety of other local suppliers, from distributors to packaging businesses. In addition, we actively support companies run by minorities and disadvantaged groups. These types of businesses are often highly motivated and possess distinct skills. In the US, for example, Miller increased the amount of money we spent with ‘minority business enterprises’ by over 20% during the year.
To ensure our suppliers aspire to the same high ethical standards as SABMiller, we conducted an ethical procurement survey of 100 of our major suppliers. The results indicated that the majority of companies adhered to acceptable standards across most indicators, including applying appropriate age limits for employment. These findings will help shape our future supplier strategy.
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