Beer brand to repurpose its by-products to produce bread for SA communities

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Dubbed “bread of the nation”, this initiative forms part of the brand’s Better World Programme.
Dubbed “bread of the nation”, this initiative forms part of the brand’s Better World Programme.
Donna Slater/Creamer Media


Castle Lager has launched a first-of-its-kind innovation in South Africa that will use by-products of its beer brewing process to produce bread that is high in fibre, sustainable and a source of protein. 

Dubbed “bread of the nation”, this initiative forms part of the brand’s Better World Programme. The brand states that it uses high-quality, locally grown grains to brew Mzansi’s favourite beer and the by-product will be repurposed to produce approximately 30 000 loaves for South African communities. 

The bread will be made by a bakery company called The Health Food Company. 

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The brand director, Wendy Bedforth, explains that for over 127 years, SAB and Castle Lager have always represented the values of resilience and unity, bringing together South Africans, through their favourite pastimes.

"As a proudly South African brand, we are delighted to leverage our production process for the greater good that will fuel the everyday hardworking South African. Bread of the nation forms part of Castle Lager’s rebranding campaign to bring Mzansi’s favourite brew closer to our communities. This campaign speaks to our commitment to using the power of our brand to reshape and rebuild a better South Africa," she said.

The official launch of this initiative kicked off in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, earlier this month. The beer brand has teamed up with a nongovernmental food-rescue organisation and hunger relief, SA Harvest, to optimise the distribution of this bread mix, which will use its footprint and partnerships to distribute the bread. Alan Browde, CEO and founder of SA Harvest, says over 20 million people in South Africa are classified as food vulnerable, while 10.3 million tons of food go to waste every year. 

"This initiative by SAB to utilise a by-product – something that would ordinarily be viewed as waste and end up contributing to climate change – and transforming it into a nutritious means of feeding those in desperate need, is an example of the kind of innovation it will take to solve hunger in South Africa."

Browde adds:

We are delighted to partner with an organisation that shares our vision for reducing the environmental impact of food waste and delivering nourishing food to the most vulnerable in our society.

Castle Lager says that this innovation contributes meaningfully to SAB and the beer brand's zero-waste and sustainability commitments and its ongoing drive to reduce carbon emissions and minimise the impact of operations on the environment. The bread would be made from the excess grain by-product left over after the brewing process which was previously sold to cattle farmers. Through this initiative, the by-product will now be repurposed for further impact on communities.

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According to a report released by Statistics SA, Measuring Food Security in SA: Applying the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, almost 23.6% of South Africans in 2020 were affected by moderate to severe food insecurity, while almost 14.9% experienced severe food insecurity. 

Castle Lager says it envisages running bread of the bation for three years to assess its feasibility.

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