Nigerian Breweries signs Cassava Partnership Agreement during Minister Ploumen's Trade Mission to Nigeria

Amsterdam, 19 June 2014 - Nigerian Breweries Plc (Nigerian Breweries) yesterday announced that it has jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Psaltry International Company Ltd (Psaltry), a Nigerian cassava processing company to develop a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) that will establish and improve agribusiness for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

The PPP forms part of the 2SCALE programme, a Dutch funded initiative aimed at improving rural livelihoods and food security in Africa. The partnership will be implemented over the next 3 years by a consortium of IFDC, ICRA and BoPInc (2SCALE) and will strengthen the participation of smallholder farmers in the local economy.

H.E. Minister Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation attended the signing of the MoU in Nigera, as part of her trade mission with leading Dutch businesses. Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Minister Ploumen, said: "HEINEKEN's decision to take part in a programme like 2SCALE proves there are real opportunities in Africa for the Dutch private sector. I hope more companies will follow their example."

Under the terms of the MoU, the partners will work together to support small-scale farmers in the production of more and better cassava through technical assistance, training and easier access to finance.

The PPP will enable more smallholder farmers to participate in the market for processed cassava products and will allow, Nigerian Breweries to increase the amount of locally grown cassava products used in their local beers.

The PPP also supports HEINEKEN's commitment to deliver 60% of its African raw materials requirements via local sourcing by 2020. As a large buyer of crops and a manufacturer and brewer in Africa HEINEKEN has a positive economic impact on local communities, and plays an important role in the economic empowerment of hundreds of thousands of farmers, their families and their communities.

Nico Vervelde, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries: "Nigerian Breweries' ambition is to support local economic development and promote inclusive growth by sourcing agricultural raw materials, like cassava, locally from entrepreneurial local SME's. Through our partnership with Psaltry, we are taking a big step towards further realising this ambition."

Niek van Dijk, business developer in 2SCALE said about 2SCALE's participation in the PPP: "The programme is about entrepreneurship. We see small-scale farmers as potential entrepreneurs that can add value to both local markets as well as Dutch companies. It is not philanthropy for companies to do business with small-scale farmers, it's an opportunity to grow for all parties and we are very pleased that Nigerian Breweries is supporting this initiative".


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Notes to editor

• Nigerian Breweries' objective is to expand its local sourcing in Nigeria and strengthen the participation of smallholder farmers in the local economy. Nigerian Breweries' ambition is to source agricultural raw materials, like cassava, locally from entrepreneurial local SMEs, like Psaltry and, through these, from local smallholder farmers. To achieve this objective, Nigerian Breweries wants to help Psaltry grow into an efficient and cost competitive supplier of cassava starch and maltose syrup.

• Psaltry aims to grow its business into an efficient and cost competitive supplier of processed cassava products. This particularly through expanding the number of smallholder farmers connected to the supply chain, by increasing the processing capacity at the existing factory, and by increasing the quantity and range of processed cassava outputs. Currently, Psaltry runs a processing factory and a 400 ha nucleus farm and produces 9,000 tons of starch per year, but intends to expand this production to 24,000 ton of starch per year in 2015. To reach this capacity, more farmers need to be involved in the delivery of high quality cassava to the Psaltry factory.

• 2SCALE sees good opportunities to support the activities and expansion plans of Nigerian Breweries and Psaltry. 2SCALE ambition is to assist international and local agrifood companies in overcoming barriers to doing agribusiness in nine sub-Saharan countries, including Nigeria. 2SCALE does so by linking selected lead firms in target industries to smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs organized in competitive agribusiness clusters. 

• Nigerian Breweries and 2SCALE may assist Psaltry with for instance: organizing farmer groups, brokering linkages between Psaltry and grassroots actors; promoting good agricultural practices in cassava production; introducing technical and institutional innovations in cassava supply chains; establishing action-research programmes; facilitating access to finance for farmers; supporting coordination and scheduling of planting & harvesting; and establishing partner networks (e.g. with local banks and stem/input suppliers).

About Nigerian Breweries
Nigerian Breweries Plc. is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. The company, a subsidiary of Heineken N.V incorporated in 1946, commenced brewing operations in 1949 with Star, Nigeria's first indigenous lager beer. Currently, the company's portfolio of brands includes Star, Gulder, Heineken, Goldberg, Life Continental Lager; Legend Extra Stout, Maltina, Amstel Malta, Malta Gold, Fayrouz and Climax Herbal Energy drink which are produced in its 8 operating breweries strategically located around Nigeria.
As a socially responsible corporate organization with good track record of corporate social initiatives in identified and strategic areas, Nigerian Breweries has over the years, been very active in supporting Nigeria's development aspirations in line with her vision of "Winning with Nigeria". In 1994, the Company established the Nigerian Breweries Felix Ohiwerei Educational Trust Fund with a take-off grant of N100 million to take a more active part in the funding of educational and research institutions in Nigeria. Its corporate social responsibility agenda is driven within the HEINEKEN-wide sustainability, Brewing a Better Future.

HEINEKEN is a proud, independent global brewer committed to surprise and excite consumers with its brands and products everywhere. The brand that bears the founder's family name - Heineken® - is available in almost every country on the globe and is the world's most valuable international premium beer brand. The Company's aim is to be a leading brewer in each of the markets in which it operates and to have the world's most valuable brand portfolio. HEINEKEN wants to win in all markets with Heineken® and with a full brand portfolio in markets of choice. The Company is present in over 70 countries and operates more than 165 breweries. HEINEKEN is Europe's largest brewer and the world's third largest by volume. HEINEKEN is committed to the responsible marketing and consumption of its more than 250 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. These include Heineken®, Amstel, Anchor, Biere Larue, Bintang, Birra Moretti, Cruzcampo, Desperados, Dos Equis, Foster's, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ochota, Primus, Sagres, Sol, Star, Strongbow, Tecate, Tiger and Zywiec. Our leading joint venture brands include Cristal and Kingfisher. The number of people employed is over 85,000. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares are listed on the NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on the Reuter Equities 2000 Service under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. HEINEKEN has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY).
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About 2SCALE
2SCALE, a Public-Private Partnership funded by the Dutch Government, designed to spur inclusive agribusiness development in West and East Africa. The goal of 2SCALE is to improve rural livelihoods and food security in 9 countries in sub-Saharan Africa through the development of competitive agro-food industries.
The 2SCALE project is the largest agribusiness incubator in Africa, working with farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs in 9 countries. 2SCALE builds networks that connect farmers, buyers and intermediaries, enabling them to create and grow new businesses. 2SCALE also enables private firms to find business opportunities for sourcing products from, or selling agro-inputs to, smallholder farmers in Africa.