Why agriculture matters to us
As a global brewer, we need agricultural crops to brew our beers. After water, barley is the primary ingredient in beer and our key focus. We also source hops, rice and corn as well as local crops such as sorghum and cassava in Africa. Beer has, historically, been a local product – predominantly produced and consumed locally. We are committed to preserving that heritage and local sourcing remains a critical part of our business model in many of our key markets. We want to secure a local, resilient, high-quality supply of brewing crops for decades to come.
We know that volatility in the external environment caused by water stress, soil and climate risks, infrastructure challenges and human rights issues can be a barrier to growth and supply security. Today around 2.5 billion people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and the majority of these people are living on less than 4 USD per day1. With the world’s population predicted to exceed 9 billion by 2050, food production will need to grow by 60% to meet increased demand2. Meanwhile, 25% of global agriculture takes place in areas with high water stress and extreme weather, which affects agricultural yields in many parts of the world3.
There is a clear need to help growers across the world improve their productivity and competitiveness, in addition to being good stewards of land and natural resources for the long term. We want to optimize our supply chains by investing in our growers, accelerating agricultural innovations and leveraging our skill and scale to help transform agriculture.
Leveraging change through “smart agriculture”
We believe there is a great opportunity to secure our supply chains and help create more productive and resilient food systems by making agriculture smart. For us, smart agriculture means that we support growers with access to the tools, resources and partnerships they need to improve crop productivity, enhance grower livelihoods and protect natural eco-systems.
We facilitate this by directly investing in our growers (for example, through our own research and agricultural extension teams) and by developing partnerships with organizations, such as universities, NGOs and governments. We also drive the use of cutting-edge data and technology platforms to help our growers proactively address risks and opportunities in agriculture. With our ability to innovate globally and execute locally, we leverage best practices in research, science and technology to create change at scale.
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.
1 Bain & Company, 2014
2 FAO, 2013
3 WRI, 2013