According to a survey conducted in April by East African Business Council, just a month after the pandemic hit the region, showed that the hospitality industry was the worst affected by an average reduction of cash flow by 97 percent. The logistics and retail sectors followed with 70 percent and 63 percent average reduction in cash flows respectively.
To cope with the situation, SBL has been supporting its business partners through provision of personal protective gear such as sanitizers, hand washing buckets and masks. The beneficiaries also included its field and factory staff to keep them safe from contracting the virus.
SBL’s Corporate Relations Director, John Wanyancha apart from the strong focus on its business value chain, the brewer has also provided backed government efforts to combat Covid-19 with material donations.
In March, SBL assisted Ministry of Health to deliver awareness posters and flyers to regional medical officers across the country with transport and logistics. In April, the company donated 1,250 litres of hand-sanitizers to the ministry for onward distribution to the public.
Wanyancha said SBL which has about 800 employees and works with dozens of distributors in the country including smallholder farmers who supply the company with barley, maize and sorghum for its beer production, grew its cereals uptake from zero to 17,000 metric tonnes of grain from 400 farmers across the country by end last year.
“The 2019 cereal uptake by the company was equivalent to 70 percent of SBL’s total raw materials requirement for the year,” the Corporate Relations Director added.
Founded in 1996 by local entrepreneur with one brewery built in Dar es Salaam, the brewer had between 2010 and 2013, changed ownership structure with the coming on board of regional alcohol giant, East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and the global beverage producer, Diageo. The new global players injected further investment which resulted into the opening of Mwanza and Moshi factories.