Diageo has announced a new partnership with charity Gorta Self-Help Africa that aims to support smallholder-farming communities in Ethiopia by connecting small-scale barley farmers with the brewing company, as part of an economic development plan backed by the Irish Government.
Through its local subsidiary brewery Meta, Diageo will provide training, fertilizer, crop insurance, and improved barley seed to Gorta-Self Help Africa farmers, who will also make the improved seeds available to other local farmers in the years to come.
Diageo is also aiming to buy back significant amounts of barleys seeds from these farmers, working then with its network of 6500 smallholder farmers to use the seeds to grow barley for the Meta beer brewing process.
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Diageo Global Director of Sustainability David Croft commented, “Diageo is committed to creating shared value, an approach that was borne from our founders including Arthur Guinness.”
“Our work with small farmers in Ethiopia is a great example of this, helping them improve productivity which adds to their income while also supporting a consistent and quality supply of barley for us.”
“We’re aiming to source 80% of all ingredients for African products within that continent by 2020, and 100% in Ethiopia in the next 2 years. It’s an ambitious target, and partnerships like this will help us achieve that goal,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister of State with Responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Trade, Sean Sherlock welcomed the partnership, saying, “Small hold farmers in the Oromia region of Ethiopia will now be in stronger position, enabled by a global company which will itself benefit from an improved end product.”
Gorta-Self Help Africa CEO Ray Jordan also commented, “Partnerships like this are a win-win for all involved.”
“Farmers throughout Ethiopia are struggling with poor quality seed, which results in poor harvests. Irish Aid has been our long-term partner in addressing this problem, and having Diageo join this team to help lift incomes for poor smallholder farmers is what good public-private partnership is all about.”
Pictured L-R: Ethiopian cereal growers Shewangiza Andarge, Dejene Melka and Getachew Miko
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.