Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is set to unlock South Africa’s agricultural
export potential with plans to grow South African hop production and become a
net exporter by 2021.
South Africa is to increase hops produced by around 150 tonnes to over 1 000
tonnes per year, of which more than 250 tonnes will be for the export market.
brewers and innovation teams, will take place from February 27 – March 3 in
George, one of only four locations in the Southern Hemisphere where hops have
been successfully cultivated since 1935. The aim of the Hops Network is to
introduce the South African varieties to the AB InBev craft industry and
locally-bred varieties as we are, and want to use them in their beers
globally,” said Willy Buholzer, AB InBev Hops Director.
South African Breweries Hops Farm (SABHF) and contracted private growers
currently harvest less than one percent of the world’s total produce – up to
855 tonnes each year. Of this, around 735 tonnes is for SAB and local craft
industry and 120 tonnes is exported into Africa, primarily for SAB beers.
malt to the craft industry, currently supplying the local market with more than
20 tonnes of hops annually.
aroma and flavour hop varieties, namely Southern Aroma, African Queen and
Southern Passion, and has increased these to 24 hectares under cultivation for
crop 2017. “We are hoping to expand this to about 100 hectares which will take
the overall industry to about 500 hectares as demand grows,” said Lauren
Steytler, GM of SAB’s Hops Farms.
company has undertaken to invest R610-million into strengthening the South
African agricultural landscape. “We will
support small-holder farmers by financing 800 new emerging farmers and 20 new
commercial farmers to produce hops, barley and maize, with strategic intent to
create 2 600 additional jobs in the agricultural supply chain.
agriculture and enterprise development in South Africa, building on SAB’s
current programs to promote black entrepreneurs and enterprise development,
with a particular focus on agriculture and agro-processing,” said John Rogers,
AB InBev Africa Director of Raw Material Procurement and Agricultural
In support of its public interest commitments, SAB is
increasing investments in research and development, offering incentivised
pricing structures and preferential loans for emerging famers, as well as
long-term contracts of up to 10 years to purchase their hops. The commitment
will also support other enterprise development initiatives including farmer
training and business incubation and the localisation of agricultural inputs
into the production of beer.
was purchased, which will be managed by a black woman entrepreneur. Through
delivery of key performance indicators and once the loan has been repaid, the
farm will be 100% owned by the entrepreneur.
local economy. AB InBev is excited about the growth opportunities and role that
South Africa will play in the business, as we continue to make important
contributions to the economy and society,” said Rogers.