Local purchasing in Ecuador
Ecuador is seeing significant changes to its agricultural patterns as a result of intensive exports, production deficits in neighbouring countries and a demand for crops such as maize for biofuel. As a consequence, the availability of rice – one of the main ingredients in the beer produced by Cervecería Nacional – has fallen.
Working with the Ecuadorean government, the business has established a smallholder programme that provides the company with a stable source of rice for its beer while offering farmers the security of a ready market and a predetermined price. Over 30 farmers have joined the scheme and 1,700 labourers have directly benefited from employment. The aim is to increase the numbers involved sixfold and provide a level of income in excess of the minimum agricultural wage set by the government.