Third Eye

A toast to critical role beer plays in our economy

Friday, August 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Beer. Photo/File

Graham Villers-Tuthill       

People have brewed beer for thousands of years. There is evidence of beer brewing in China in 7000 BC, ancient Egyptians documented the brewing process around 5000 BC, and jugs of beer have been found in Iran from around 3500 BC.

Beer is part of our history, part of culture, part of how we socialize. As we mark International Beer Day this week, it is important to remember that beer plays a critical role in the Kenyan economy, communities and in the lives of our consumers.

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) is turning 100 years old in 2022. As we approach our Centenary year, it is worth reflecting, the role KBL has played in the Kenya’s economy.

KBL contributes 0.8 per cent to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while at the same time contributing two per cent of total employment in the country.

KBL supports over 85,000 businesses, directly employing over 1,000 people and engaging over 40,000 distributors, outlets, and retailers across the country.

Our beer is proudly made using Kenyan ingredients. KBL is committed to sourcing 80 per cent of our raw materials locally to produce our quality beers.

We purchase barley and sorghum from over 47,000 farmers to deliver quality produce. Annually, these farmers receive over Sh1 billion  in payment. 

At KBL, we are very aware of our role in operating sustainably and protecting our shared environment.

KBL is one of the most efficient beer sites in Diageo with regards to water efficiency per litre of beer produced, 25 per cent more efficient in water usage versus the average brewery.

We are committed to sourcing 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030. We recently announced a Sh22 billion investment in water recovery and renewable energy.

The investment will help us reduce our carbon emission by 95 per cent. We are commitment to environmental conservation and most importantly offsetting our carbon footprint through conservation efforts. 

In the last decade, KBL has planted and nurtured over one million trees. In the last two years, we have successfully planted 100,000 trees in the Mt. Kenya Forest and restored 250 ha of forest cover. 

Through our brands, KBL has been at the forefront of investing in Kenyan sports, music, arts and entertainment industries.

The Tusker brand proudly embodies the spirit of Kenya, and we have invested in those that fly the Kenyan flag high across our society.

We are proud owners of Tusker FC and are hoping that the team’s winning streak continues! Tusker has supported rugby in Kenya for over a decade, sponsoring the KRU and thrilling fans with great tournament experiences. 

This Olympic season Tusker supported Team Kenya with Sh45million and we are proud to being closer to our Olympians with our ‘Cheers our Champions’ campaign where consumers can win cash, kit and prizes and send messages of support to the Kenya Olympic Team. 

Traditionally, Tusker has supported Kenyan musicians and artists with immersive experiences such as Oktobafest, but Covid-19 pandemic put our large-scale event plans on hold.

Despite these challenges, last year, EABL brands delivered online events to entertain our consumers and supported Kenyan artists with almost Sh60 million in funding from concerts such as Tusker NYE Bash to Kenya Cane’s Labour Day celebrations.

In our last financial year, KBL paid over Sh11million to influencers, content creators and brand endorsers, supporting the creative economy in Kenya.

International Beer Day is a great time to step back and appreciate the positive role iconic beer brands play in our society.

As we move to Tusker Centenary Celebrations in 2022 we are stepping forward with optimism about the next 100 years of pride, celebration and good times to come. That calls for a Tusker! — The writer is the Marketing and Innovation Director for East African Breweries Ltd

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