- General community improvement and empowerment. Eagle Lager project in the Soroti District, conducted with the local government, reports that an assured income allows farmers to plan for their futures, and has enabled them to send their children to school, buy more land and oxen for ploughing, eat better, afford improved health care, and employ other people to help them with planting.
- Enhanced micro economic and purchasing power of farmers. One example was through working with Serere Animal and Agricultural Research Institute, farmers received training in agronomy.
By switching to an indigenous raw material – sorghum – and using small-scale farmers to supply it, the brewery was able to simultaneously replace expensive imported ingredients, and convince the Ugandan and Zambian Governments to cut excise duties by at least half. While sorghum lager is slightly more expensive to produce than other beers, its retail price is still around a third less than the price of lagers that use imported barley, thanks to the favorable excise structure.
Eagle Lager has created a new and credible, long-term market for sorghum as a cash crop. Purchase agreements are signed in advance that guarantee prices at levels considerably above market rates. Sorghum, itself, also has particular attractions for farmers: compared to other crops, it is more drought- and flood resistant, higher yielding with more stable prices, and easier, cheaper and so more profitable to manage. In total, Eagle lager has brought 8,000 small-scale farmers in Uganda into its supply chain. Assuming an average of 6 dependants per household, this translates into benefits for 63,000 people.
The viability of Eagle lager has hinged on the partnership that was forged early on with the national governments, and the resulting enabling tax environment that was put in place. Fundamentally, this reflected a shared understanding by the government of the importance of a product that utilizes local inputs and supports small-scale agriculture. On-going communication with government stakeholders has helped maintain government buy-in.
Long term impact on Ugandans
NGOs have been providing financial and non-financial support to farmers, including training and provision of inputs. CARE is actively helping farmers to improve the quality of their produce and to find new market opportunities beyond Eagle Lager, including export markets. Commodity brokers have simplified the logistical process of purchasing raw materials, contributed important agricultural technical knowledge, helped identify new markets for farmers and minimize post-harvest losses through the provision of effective storage.
CSR Rating against 10
The company’s CSR is well matched with the mission and attempts to fill in the gaps that it creates in the community