100% of our direct farmers will be skilled, connected and financially empowered
As a global brewer, we depend on high-quality agricultural crops to brew our beers. We support the livelihoods of farming communities worldwide, working with nearly 50,000 direct farmers across 15 countries and 5 continents to grow natural ingredients– including barley, corn, rice, hops, sorghum and cassava – that allow us to brew the best beers.
By supporting our direct farmers to be skilled, connected and financially empowered, we will help them improve their productivity, their profitability and their efficient use of natural resources, such as soil and water. We believe research, knowledge, technology and financing are the key enablers required to help transform agriculture at scale. We will leverage these to advance agricultural development and we will measure our impact on metrics such as yields, resource-efficiency, soil health and smallholder incomes.
Beer is predominantly produced and consumed locally, and local sourcing remains a critical part of our business model in most of our key markets. We want to secure a local, resilient, high-quality supply of crops for decades to come. For example, our businesses in Africa have pioneered the use of under-commercialized local crops to create new affordable beer brands – like Eagle Lager made with local sorghum in Uganda and Impala made with local cassava in Mozambique – reaching new consumers and increasing incomes for local smallholder farmers.
Because challenges in agriculture cannot be solved alone, we partner with a wide range of universities, tech start-ups, NGOs, governments and businesses. We depend on our farmers, and we are committed help catalyze sustainable transformation in agriculture – securing our supply chains, improving farmer livelihoods and strengthening natural eco-systems – now and for the next 100+ years.
We work with our barley growers through our research and agriculture teams to help them produce high-quality malt barley while reducing their environmental impact.
Who is a “direct farmer”?
A direct farmer:
- We have defined a direct farmer as a farmer who has signed a contract with us or supplies us via a local co-operative or aggregator. This definition applies to all our priority crops which are in scope for our goal: barley, hops, rice, corn, sorghum, cassava.
- Globally we buy over half of our barley from direct farmers.
- We have chosen to focus on our direct farmers because this is where we can have the most impact due to our engagement through our local agronomist teams.
What does “skilled” mean?
A skilled farmer:
- Drives continuous improvement on their farm – both for now and the long term.
- Adopts good agricultural practices and technologies to improve their agronomic, operational and environmental performance, and utilizes seed varieties tailored to their local environment.
What does “connected” mean?
A connected farmer:
- Leverages technology and insights to adopt or advance sustainable farming practices using SmartBarley platform and other digital solutions such as SMS texting.
- Uses technology platforms to benchmark best practices, adapt to changes in climate and weather and optimise use of fertilisers and other inputs.
What does “financially empowered” mean?
A financially empowered farmer:
•Has access to the financial tools they need to sustainably manage a successful business and produce a high-quality product. These tools vary market-to-market, but may include:
•Financial literacy and/or business training;
•Access to affordable credit through external partners;
•Access to banking and insurance, through external partners.
•AB InBev will work with local financial partners to drive access and adoption of financial tools among farmers.