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  • Significant businesses with production operations
  • Selling operations and major export markets
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Innovative packaging for the World Cup

A can design - innovative packing for the World Cup

During the 2010 world cup, SAB Ltd in South Africa developed and launched a “full-aperture easy-open end” for a limited edition can of Castle Lager, featuring a lid that for the first time enabled the can to be drunk from like a glass. This significantly reduced the materials required as it was manufactured by using lightweight ‘SuperEnd’ technology. In addition, the can helped to reduce queues at bars around the event, with a quicker serving time.

The can design was awarded Can of the Year 2010 by The Canmaker magazine, which reports on innovations in the metal-packaging industry and also won the Alcoholic Beverages category at the Starpack awards (the UK's premier annual awards scheme recognising innovation in packaging design and technology).

Developing a lighter MGD cluster pack

New light-weighted cluster pack for Miller Genuine Draft

Working in partnership with its packaging supplier Nampak Cartons & Labels, SAB Ltd in South Africa developed a new light-weighted cluster pack for Miller Genuine Draft (MGD). This is the cardboard sleeve the surrounds multi-pack bottles of beer. It was designed to survive the rigours of distribution, whilst using a lighter gauge of cardboard reducing the weight from 380gsm to 350gsm. This equates to a reduction of 8% less cardboard – a saving of 51 tonnes of paper annually on the MGD pack alone.

This significant improvement has been achieved without affecting the quality and strength of the MGD pack, while maintaining its high quality brand-building look and feel.

Project Promote

Three workers looking at a document

The current HIV/Aids epidemic is one of the worst health crises facing us today. Although regional prevalence rates vary, South Africa has the largest number of HIV positive people in the world at approximately 5.7 million people. It has been shown that condoms are highly effective in protecting against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when issued correctly. A study done in 2004*, showed that in Africa, for every 500 condoms distributed, 1 new infection is averted.

Project Promote is a partnership between SAB Ltd, the National Department of Health (NDoH), the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids (SABCOHA) and the Society for Family Health. This project provides support to the NDoH by extending condom distribution services to non-traditional outlets. The project began when the NDoH approached SAB Ltd to become a core strategic partner in the programme.

* John Stover 2004

Read more about Project Promote

Supporting owner drivers

A truck driver

Our South African subsidiary, SAB Ltd works hard to ensure its distribution strategy has a focus on identifying, mentoring and encouraging local suppliers. In 1987, SAB Ltd introduced its owner-driver project, which saw former employees of SAB Ltd form their own companies to distribute SAB Ltd’s products, including Castle Lager, to retailers.

About 70% of SAB Ltd and ABI deliveries are carried out by owner-drivers, many who have gone on to own more than one vehicle. The programme empowers drivers, develops sustainable businesses and jobs, and allows SAB Ltd to develop superior routes to market.

Project Eden

Project Eden at South Africa

At the iBhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth, SAB Ltd (SAB) has worked with Rhodes University to develop an innovative way to treat brewery waste-water and achieve quality standards that made it suitable for re-use in irrigation and other secondary water. Known as Project Eden, the groundbreaking research is a first for South Africa’s brewing industry.

Read more about Project Eden

Taung farmer project

Farmers in South Africa

Before 1990 in South Africa, barley was only produced in the rain-fed region of the South Western Cape. However, due to the climatic risk of producing the crop in just one geographical area, SAB Ltd launched a project to identify and cultivate alternative crop producing regions in central South Africa. This also gave the opportunity to experiment with different barley varieties than those adapted to the Southern Cape environment.

The Taung project was launched in 1994 in partnership with the North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Rural Development and the local tribal authority.

Read more about Taung farmer project


Sinawe poster

The health and wellbeing of our employees and their families is important to us. From a commercial point of view, absent or unmotivated employees can damage productivity. Independent research undertaken in South Africa, relating to our HIV/Aids programmes, suggested a fourfold return on the investment made by SAB Ltd in terms of reduced absence and increased productivity.

In South Africa, SAB Ltd and ABI offer a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to employees and their dependants called Sinawe. The EAP addresses lifestyle issues including alcohol dependence and physical fitness as well as stress management.