When Local Sourcing Messes With German Beer Purity Laws (Part 3)

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Global brewers aren’t just focused on working with local suppliers and regional crops in Africa to bring lower-cost, lower-carbon-footprint beers to markets throughout the region. They’re also working across the Atlantic to develop local suppliers, including the local sourcing and supplier development work that Anheuser-Busch InBev is focused on in Brazil. The Just-Drinks analysis of local sourcing practices we’ve been referencing throughout this series suggests that “A-B InBev has also been working directly with its barley suppliers … to implement sustainable agricultural practices.”

Different elements of this program have included a range of elements, Just-Drinks suggests, including examining the agricultural intersections of different crops and rotation strategies. In other industries, we’ve seen procurement organizations work with local raw material suppliers to develop refining and production processes for raw and base materials by bringing in supplier development teams and even specialized engineering teams to focus on a number of areas: reducing the use of hazardous substances, implementing scrap/recycling programs, streamlining production processes – the list goes on.

That said, one thing remains clear across these programs: global operations and procurement organizations are lending resources and expertise to local markets, not to clone best practices in other regions but to improve local sourcing and supplier practices within local markets, with full awareness into local customs, constraints and business practices. The ability to leverage centralized resources and knowledge to impact change at a local level – with local color – is one of the biggest contributions procurement will make to the next wave of global sourcing and global supplier development.

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