Diageo, SBL’s priority is investing in community services to improve

21Apr 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Diageo, SBL’s priority is investing in community services to improve

FROM supporting rural farmers produce beer brewing raw materials and earn better money to financing their children get agriculture expertise to support their parents, Serengeti Breweries Limited is becoming darling of the public.

The Dar es Salaam based brewer, which is a subsidiary of the global alcoholic beverages maker, Diageo Plc, is investing heavily in community projects to improve living standards of the people especially those in rural areas where poverty is at home.

The beer brewer has also invested heavily in water supply projects targeting rural communities through its flagship, ‘Water of Life Project,’ whereby thousands of bore holes have been drilled in several regions of the country.

“The idea is to give back to the community which supports our business activities without which we would not be in the market today,” said SBL’s Director of Corporate Relations, John Wanyancha. He pointed out that as a responsible corporate citizen, SBL aligns itself with its holding company, Diageo Plc whose strategic plan targets a number of goals to protect the environment and humanity by 2030.

“Through our various initiatives such as Kilimo-Viwanda and Water of Life, millions of rural families are benefitting through increased incomes and access to better water services,” Wanyancha underscored.

Research shows that clean water supply will fall by up to 40 per cent by 2030 due to a population increase with poor communities in developing countries being worst affected. Women and girls will be the victims of this tragedy if accessibility near their premises is not improved.

In agriculture, SBL which has also been working with hundreds of local farmers who produce its raw materials such as maize, sorghum and barley, is playing a crucial role in supporting government efforts to reduce income poverty especially in rural areas where agriculture is the main occupation.

“So far, we get almost 80 percent of our raw materials from local farmers who we have empowered by assisting them get quality agro-inputs such as hybrid seeds and expert advice on better farming practices,” the SBL Corporate Relations Director added.

SBL’s holding company, Diageo has been a champion of investing in community projects such as water globally in partnership with WaterAid, a UK based company. In Tanzania alone, Diageo, through SBL, has built 17 boreholes across eight regions since 2010. There are other borehole projects currently in progress in Mara and Manyara regions.

Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes said apart from such investments in community projects, the London Stock Exchange listed conglomerate invests heavily in clean energy, gender equality and ethnic diversity in all of its markets globally.

“Diageo plans to go net-zero carbon by 2030 and other indirect carbon emissions by 50 percent because carbon emissions continue to have devastating effects on climate change globally, which manifest in rising ocean levels and temperatures,” Menezes said adding that Diageo is harnessing 100 percent renewable energy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

He further noted that the beverages manufacturer is also implementing projects to ensure gender parity and ethnic diversity among its rank and file.

"By setting both gender and ethnicity goals for the business to achieve by 2030, I believe we can truly break down barriers and help shape a more diverse and successful long-term business and society," he added while stressing that Diageo is in the forefront of supporting projects that impact lives of local communities by adhering to its bold sustainability set goals outlined in Diageo's 'Society 2030: Spirit of Progress' plan.

The 2030 plan is in tandem with the United Nations 2030 development goals designed – a ratified blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Diageo’s notable global brands includes: Johnnie Walker Bailey, Guinness, and Smirnoff which also sell widely in the local market.

Its local subsidiary which has several brands including Serengeti Lager and the market popular Serengeti Lite, has undertaken campaigns to sensitise the public on responsible drinking to avoid negative impacts which include gender violence, accidents when driving motor vehicles.

“We as SBL have taken measures to protect both our customers, employees and the public by sensitizing them on excessive consumption of alcohol which may lead to traffic accidents involving both the driver and pedestrians,” Wanyancha noted.

Through its DRINKiQ e-learning platform, a 'Drink positive' campaign has already involved millions of people in the country who include motorcycle taxi operators popularly known as ‘Boda bodas,’ who ferry millions of people and cargo both in urban and rural areas daily.

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