As latest reports would have it, the Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, says it sources 99 per cent of its packaging materials in Nigeria. Whether this is solely to save costs, or to improve the Nigerian economy, this is to be applauded, and is a move that other Nigerian companies can follow.
However, Mr Patrick Olowookere, the Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager of the company said that the percentage covered locally manufactured cans, crown corks, crates, bottles and labels among others, which were all part of strategic partnerships with local manufacturers.
“Before now, we used to source our canning materials from Europe and as time went by, we realised that it was not sustainable.
“We decided to look at backward integration which is the only way to promote sustainability and local content development.
“NB then partnered with a company called GZ International for the production of cans for its canning lines, while other packaging materials are also sourced locally at a cheaper cost.
“Now, we are at 99 per cent sourcing our packaging materials from local manufacturers with an assurance from NB that it will buy the materials they produce,’’ he said.
NB is also proactive in developing agricultural value chains like in the development of sorghum and food grade starch among others.
The company has been able to invest and built the biggest sorghum malting plant in Africa and, arguably globally.
A recent News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report stated that the NB produces about 2.6 million hectolitre of beer annually, and one hectolitre is 100 litres.
Also, of its 11 breweries in the country, only nine are up and running currently.