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SABMiller in €3.7m EU grant to create food from agricultural by-products

12 September 2012

SABMiller plc (SAB.L) one of the world’s largest brewers, is partnering with the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and other organisations as part €3.7m investment (€2.8m funded by the EU) into improving food security through waste reduction and optimisation.

The Gratitude (Gains from Losses of Roots and Tuber Crops) project will research solutions to reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops such as cassava and yam, turning ‘unavoidable waste’ into value-added products such as snack foods, mushrooms or animal feed. SABMiller’s role in the project will be to work in conjunction with the School of Biotechnology and Food Technology (SBFT) of Hanoi University of Science and Technology to take by-products of cassava processing and dramatically increase their economic value.

In 2011 SABMiller first began brewing with cassava in Africa and, as part of its research, identified the potential of spent cassava as a source of fibre and minerals. SBFT is one of Asia’s leading institutions in the field of biological engineering and food technology with rich experience in cassava product development.

Cassava and yam are important food security crops for approximately 700 million people. However, losses after harvesting and during processing can be as high as 30% for cassava, which is not only detrimental to food security and the environment but also misses opportunities to increase the value generated from these crops.

Technologies and systems developed as part of the project will particularly benefit small-holder households, support small and medium scale enterprises to increase profitability, create new jobs and develop links to large-scale industries. In the long term the project will therefore help improve the livelihoods of people on low incomes and enhance the role that these crops play in food and income security.

Dr Wolfgang Tosch from SABMiller said “Our ultimate aim is for brewing to be a zero-waste industry and many of our by-products already have valuable uses such as animal feed, yeast extract and fertiliser. As brewing innovation develops, so do the opportunities for creating even more value-adding products and the spent cassava research has the potential to benefit smallholder communities and, in the long term, improve their food security.”

Notes for editors

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries.  The group’s portfolio includes global brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch; as well as leading local brands such as Aguila (Colombia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia) and Tyskie (Poland).  SABMiller also has growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.
In the year ended 31 March 2012 the group reported earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of US$5,634 million and group revenue of US$31,388 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

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Gratitude, led by the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, and in collaboration with 15 other organisations, will help find solutions that will reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops and turn unavoidable water into something of value.


Bianca Shevlin
Sustainable Development  Media Relations Manager
SABMiller plc
t: +44 20 7659 0172

This is a SABMiller subsidiary news release, it was first published in its local market on [12/09/2012].

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