Posted By: Chikodi Okereocha
Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc has deepened its partnership with indigneous entrepreneurs and farmers to harness the huge value chain from its backward integration policy, its Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager, Mr. Patrick Olowokere, has said.
Speaking during a tour of Psaltry International Limited, one of Nigerian Breweries’ major raw material suppliers, in Alayide Village, Ado Awaiye near Iseyin in Oyo State, he said the company was consolidating its local sourcing of input for its operations.
He said the company has fast-tracked its plan to attain 60 per cent local input sourcing by 2018 as against the initial 2020 target.
Olowokere said the strategy was to identify organisations that could produce raw materials and ancillary products as input for its business.These organisations, Olowokere explained, would be provided with a market for their products.
He said the value chain model has been experimented in packaging material, sorghum and cassava development models.
Olowokere said the company had increased the supply of sorghum used for some of its beverages as more than 100,000 metric tonnes of the cereal are sourced yearly.
“Over 250,000 farmers spread across agronomic zones in the North have been impacted by our sorghum value chain programme as at 2013,” he said.
The company’s brands are packaged using locally-sourced packaging materials, such as bottles, cans, crates, cartons, crown corks, and labels. As at last year, 99 per cent of these packaging materials were locally sourced, opening opportunities to indigeneous entrepreneurs.
Similarly, the company has since 2015 been working with Psaltry International, a local cassava processing company, to optimise the cassava value chain by providing industrial quality cassava starch to extract maltose syrup for use in its brewing process.
NB, according to Olowokere, would strengthened local ancillary businesses, particularly the procurement of raw materials, such as starch input and identify Psaltry, as a supplier of high-quality cassava starch.
He maintained that the initiative was part of the company’s corporate philosophy of “Winning with Nigeria” and in line with its backward integration.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, said the company has created a supply chain of 5,000 farm families, which included more than 2,000 outgrower farm families, marketers, transporters and retail input suppliers.
She added that the company has saved the nation more than $7 million in foreign exchange in the past two years through local provision of processed cassava starch for industrial use.
The deal between the firms is also impacting socio-economic development of small scale farming communities in Nigeria. For instance, Chief Busari Amusa, Baale of Alayide, the host community of Psaltry International Limited, was full of gratitude for the new infrastructural transformation that had come to his community. “It is a dream come true. We have electricity, boreholes for water and the roads are also opening up for accessibility between our farms and the factory. My story has changed.”Today, and less than two years of this cassava business, I have a new house, a car and four of my children are in higher institutions of learning. This is unbelievable,” he revealed during the tour of the community,” he said.