By Amin Kef Sesay – 24 August 2019
Indisputably, one of the several remarkable accomplishments that the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL) is widely extolled for is its excellent implementation of the country’s Local Content Policy, despite the fact that the company is affiliated with the Heineken Foundation in the Netherlands and has external shareholders.
In other words, the, Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL), the country’s premier manufacturer of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in the country, continues to make impressive inroads, not only by gaining more customer base, but also for rolling out solid developmental projects in certain communities. The company is commendably honouring its corporate social responsibility that is impacting positively on the lives of people.
The company has ensured over the years to have Sierra Leoneans in its employ, as long as they possess the requisite qualifications and skills, instead of largely importing foreign expatriates.
Even where foreign expatriates are employed, it is the company’s policy to have Sierra Leoneans who should understudy them and after a period of time, the nationals take over their positions.
To further expand its rolling-out of the Local Content Policy, the SLBL is making use of sorghum, which is locally cultivated, in the brewing of some of its beverages. This has encouraged certain farmers to grow sorghum where it is very ideal to do and at present the number of sorghum farmers and sorghum growing families has increased exponentially, standing over 25,000 in various districts.
SLBL has been steadily supporting these farmers in diverse ways to increase their yields in order to match with demand. What this has led to is a symbiotic relationship between SLBL and the sorghum farmers. These farmers have a steady source of income helping to financially take care of various domestic responsibilities.
Distributors of SLBL’s variety of beverages are Sierra Leoneans with an exceptional case of only few foreign business people.
Coming back to the company’s implementation of its Corporate Social Responsibility, SLBL has done a lot and is determined to continue doing so. The company gives priority to residents within the Wellington Industrial Estate, where it is situated, when it comes to offering of jobs, as long as individuals within that locality are qualified. This has helped in poverty reduction through meaningful engagements of young people who were hitherto jobless.
SLBL, in collaboration with Heineken Foundation, has been rolling-out Water and Sanitation Projects (WASH) in different communities, albeit closer to where it is located. It has constructed solar powered water wells that are benefitting residents in those places who were finding it extremely difficult to access pure and clean water supply.
Added to that, the company has assisted in the construction of health facilities where locals are receiving medical treatment, thus easing constraints formerly faced. It has been giving educational support to institutions that deserve it.
The company does not discriminate along religious grounds as it has the cardinal principle to cater for all. This was very evident in the last Ramadan month when SLBL shared its happiness through its Maltina brand to the Muslim community throughout the holy month of Ramadan by dishing out Maltina Iftar, targeting 60 mosques and thereby giving solace to over 6000 Muslims right across the country.
By all estimation the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited is acclaimed for timely churning out the Local Content Policy and its Corporate Social Responsibility and doing so doggedly and remarkably.