SAB and AB InBev are piloting a savoury grain snack, made from locally grown grain remaining after the brewing process. Proceeds from the sale of the snack will be used to help develop emerging farmers and support community development initiatives.
Castle Lager Better Bites is packaged in 40g packs and available for purchase at five tavern outlets in Soweto and another four liquor outlets between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Castle Lager Better Bites was conceptualised after AB InBev identified challenges faced by emerging farmers in establishing viable, sustainable and successful farming practices.
“Better Bites helps us realise our dream of creating a company in Africa, which grows while channelling resources towards investment and building communities to make a real difference in people’s lives,” says John Rogers, Director of Raw Material Procurement and Agricultural Development, SAB and AB InBev Africa.
The initiative is in partnership with FarmSol Africa and Grain SA who will help to facilitate a robust training programme for emerging farmers who are part of SAB and AB InBev’s supply chain. The training will help improve farm productivity, create jobs and enable farmers to participate in other commercial supply chains.
The Better Bites pilot is expected to unlock more than R280 000 (USD$20,000) in funding to support the cost of the training.
FarmSol Africa specialise in providing agricultural mentorship, skills development, development financing and offtake agreements to emerging farmers across South Africa.
The farming practice training programme was designed using the results of a skills audit undertaken by Grain SA. Training modules focus on maize production and marketing, resource assessment and farm planning, tractor and farm implement maintenance and agriculture contracting.
The impact of the project will be measured by the number of farmers trained and the number of farmers who implement the improved skills within their production practices.
A total of 142 independent black emerging farmers have been identified as beneficiaries of the Castle Lager Better Bites initiative. This includes 82 women from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Through its Public Interest Commitments made in South Africa, AB InBev supports local emerging barley, maize and hops farmers. This supports the aim to increase the productivity and production of locally sourced beer ingredients, contributing to rural economic development.