GHANA – Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) has held a stakeholder’s workshop to showcase and assess the socio-economic impact of their Local Raw Material (LRM) sourcing on the Ghanaian economy.

A statement issued in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the workshop was held bi-annually to review the impact of the company’s LRM agenda on government and the communities in which GGBL operates.

Professor Paul Sarfo-Mensah, Senior Research Fellow at the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) said 25,000 small holder farmers spread across 7 regions directly benefited from GGBL’s LRM initiative.

He said together with their dependents, the initiative has impacted an estimated 175,000 lives over the last three years, representing a 138 per cent increase in lives impacted from 2013 – 2015.

Other beneficiaries in the supply chain included hired labour, transport and other service providers among others.

Mr Gavin Pike, Managing Director of GGBL said “since 2012, GGBL has been at the forefront of championing the use of locally available raw materials in the production of our premium brands. From a modest 12 per cent LRM use in 2012, Guinness Ghana’s LRM usage has grown to 48 per cent impacted the lives of more than 25,000 farmers.”

“Our target is to source 70 per cent of local raw materials by 2020 which should have an incremental impact on the communities in which we operate. We can proudly say we are the largest users of local raw materials in the brewery industry in Ghana,” he said.

Dr Nurah Gyiele, Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, said “one of our ambitions as a government to is to transform the lives of Ghanaians through sustainable job creation and we know that majority of our people are into farming albeit mostly subsistent.”

He said government also understands that to significantly transform the agriculture sector, there is much more that can be done.

“We need our farmers to start thinking and moving towards commercial farming to ensure there is sustainable livelihood improvement and to make this happen, the appropriate policies must be developed and implemented,” Dr Gyiele said.

He said it was for this reason that the government launched the Planting for Food and Jobs programme as well as the One District One Factory initiative.

In support of GGBL’s drive towards the use of local raw material in brewing, government in 2012 introduced a concessionary excise duty scheme for breweries using local raw materials and since the passage of this law, GGBL, which was already investing and using sorghum and maize for the production of it premium brands, significantly increased its usage of local raw materials (sorghum, maize and cassava).

In October 2015, GGBL presented the progress made in developing the LRM supply chain to key stakeholders and shared the findings of a baseline socio-economic impact assessment undertaken by Deloitte-UK and the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

This year’s study is a follow up on the baseline study which focuses on establishing the total number of stakeholders impacted throughout the LRM value chain, the total direct and indirect jobs created and livelihoods supported by the local raw material sourcing as well as its tax effect on the economy, among others.

Mr Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Corporate Relations Director of GGBL, said “GGBL remains committed to our vision of generating long-term business value with locally and sustainably sourced raw materials which meets quality standards and have a positive impact on the communities and environment in which we operate.”