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Enterprise development

Encouraging enterprise development in our value chains

The importance of the supply chain 00:04:35

Sustainable development priorities: The importance of the supply chain

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Panama: 'Improving Together' supplier programme

Cerveceria Nacional logo

‘Mejorando Juntos’ (‘Improving Together’) is a programme to foster and develop micro and small businesses supplying our Panamanian business, Cerveceria Nacional (CN). As well as helping suppliers to become more competitive, it also contributes to the development and sustainability of the community.

The first step is an awareness-raising session based on our Responsible Sourcing Principles. Subsequent training covers topics such as quality and environmental management, looking at improvement opportunities in each case and any support the company may need.

Once the training is complete, companies become accredited CN suppliers and continue to receive help as necessary. The programme has so far involved 35 of CN’s small and medium-sized suppliers and is designed to be replicated in other locations in the future.

CN’s main partner in the project, The National Centre for Competitiveness, was recently invited by the United Nations Global Compact Network to join a nationwide project to use the company’s model as a best practice example of business-supplier relationships.

Peru: Smallholder development

Woman working in maize field

In Peru we are encouraging smallholder development by moving part of our hard yellow maize procurement from imports to local crops grown by smallholder farmers. Our Peruvian business, Backus, has partnered with CEDEPAS (The Ecumenical Centre of Promotion and Social Action) in the project and during the last year it has worked with 96 farmers providing technical assistance. We purchased 1,583 tonnes of maize between December 2008 and March 2009 from 80 of these farmers who met our brewing standards. The smallholders increased their productivity from an average of 7.5 tonnes per hectare to 8.7 tonnes per hectare as part of the project.

CEDEPAS also assists the farmers to set up cooperative associations to improve their buying and selling power. Two associations are now running and selling directly to Backus.

This initiative is part of the ‘Progresando Juntos’ programme that aims to improve conditions and create opportunities for micro and small enterprises. The goal for the next year is to increase our purchase of maize to around 6,000 tonnes and to provide assistance to approximately 130 smallholders.

Zambia: Manual distribution centres

Manual Distribution Centre

Zambian Breweries Ltd created its Manual Distribution Centre (MDC) programme for soft drinks distribution in order to give company employees and external entrepreneurs the opportunity of becoming independent business owners.

MDCs serve outlets in high-density areas where normal, motorised delivery methods are not suitable. Relying on push-carts and wheelbarrows, they generally employ two people – a runner who makes the deliveries and a salesman who responds to walk-in sales, supervises the runner, is accountable for stock, sales, operations and distribution and reports directly into the business owner.

On average, each centre has about 60 customers and can expect to sell 90 cases of soft drinks a day with the runner delivering 60 cases and 30 cases sold to walk-in customers. The programme provides employment and business development opportunities for around 190 people serving around 16,000 customers.

El Salvador: Nurturing small distribution businesses

Our Salvadoran business, La Constancia, is improving its distribution and supporting local communities and businesses through its ’minibodagas’ and owner-driver schemes.

Minibodagas are manual distributors delivering La Constancia’s products in high-density areas where truck delivery is difficult. Each has a ‘territory’ of about one square kilometre with around 35 customers. The country has 24 minibodagas in total, each hiring an average of four people. La Constancia provides finance and logistics to help set up the minibodagas and each must formally employ all its workers.

In addition, La Constancia’s owner-driver scheme helps some of the company’s drivers to become entrepreneurs in their own right. Owner-drivers receive assistance from the brewery to set up their business and purchase a truck.This belongs to the company for the first two years after which there is a transition of ownership transferred to the driver. Drivers employ their own crew – normally two or three people per truck – to help with distribution.

Ecuador: Opportunities for smallholder farmers

Since 2007, Cerveceria Nacional (CN) in Ecuador has been running a programme that seeks to support small and medium-sized producers of rice while standardising the price and improving the quality and availability of supply. The results have been positive with production and quality increasing, creating jobs and impoving the incomes of the farmers involved.

The scheme has now been expanded to include sorghum and barley. The sorghum project, still at pilot stage and involving pioneering research, is looking at the best way to grow the crop in Ecuador while bringing maximum benefit to the local community. CN is also establishing a pilot scheme to identify which regions and altitudes are best suited to producing brewery barley. As well as providing raw material for the brewing process, the project will support small-scale farmers and help alleviate poverty.