Building local maize sources
In Peru, Backus are encouraging smallholder development by moving part of their hard yellow maize procurement from imports (predominantly from Argentina) to local crops grown by smallholder farmers.
Backus have partnered with CEDEPAS (The Ecumenical Centre of Promotion and Social Action) in the project. In 2009, 271 producers from the Jequetepeque valley received training and technical assistance in productive and organizational topics that seek to improve access to knowledge and promote partnerships to achieve greater efficiency and cost control. Of the total of participants, 225 sold their production to Backus. Thanks to the technical assistance received, the producers have improved their productive capacities, increasing their average yields per hectare between 7.5 MT/Ha to 8.7Mt/ha in 2009.
Our priorities: Enterprise development
Virtual school assists teaching in Peru
In Peru, Backus have implemented a programme, Escuela Virtual Backus (Backus Virtual School), to support local education. This programme offers interactive educational materials for teachers with the objective to contribute towards improving the quality of Peruvian education. This is achieved by helping teachers develop new skills and by providing new educational resources that they can use.
Recently, 170 teachers graduated from the ‘Teacher Upgrade Programme’ (TUP). This programme is run by ‘Fundación Cisneros’ and is intended for Latin American elementary school teachers with the aim to promote their ongoing development. The TUP offers free online courses and educational TV programmes so teachers can improve their teaching skills on subjects that are relevant to the development of their communities.
Our priorities: Communities
Awareness, education and prevention
In 2007, Backus in Peru established their policy instead of position statement on HIV/AIDS based on SABMiller’s global policy on this issue, the Global Compact Principles, the Millennium Development Goals and national legislation. In 2008, this was followed by an intensive communications campaign among all workers throughout the company, using verbal, written and electronic means.
In addition to the communications campaign, in 2008, employees were for the first time offered the possibility to have an HIV test incorporated into their routine medical examination programme and as a result, 76% accepted the voluntary test. Alongside working with employees, the awareness campaign has expanded to cover commercial partners and local communities.
To support this work, Backus was an inaugural member of the Peruvian Business Council in response to HIV/AIDS (CEVIH), established in 2009 with 15 other companies. The Council Presidency is occupied by the Backus representative.