TBL Group remains committed to making a significant contribution to the Tanzanian economy.
Speaking in Mwanza, the company’s Managing Director Roberto Jarrin who was presenting an overview of his company’s contribution to the country’s economy to journalists said, “In addition to contributing Tshs.384 Billion to the Government‘s revenue in 2015, we remain steadfast in our resolve to support all the industries that are linked to our business. That is, from the farmers in the field to the consumers who buy our products.”
In this regard, TBL Group will spend in excess of Tshs. 27billion/- in the agriculture sector through enabling thousands of Barley, Grapes, Sorghum and Maize farmers to grow in many ways. This will include: providing them with seeds, extension services as well as facilitating them with access to credit. Banks that provide support to TBL’s partners in the agriculture sector include: CRDB, the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) and the Bank of Africa (BOA).
The company also plans to inject Tshs 150bn /- into the transportation sector this year for the collection and transporting of agricultural products from warehouses to its plants as well as the distribution of its finished products across the country. TBL Group’s financial year runs from April 1, 2016 to March 30, 2017.
The managing director goes on to say that TBL Group will continue to play a key role in the development of the commercial farming of barley, sorghum and maize crops in the country. The company sources Barley, Sorghum (both red and white), Sifted Maize Flour and Grapes from local farmers which are then used in the manufacture of its products. Jarrin reiterated his company’s commitment to enhancing the lives of farmers through connecting them to organisations such as the World Food Programme which then buys their surplus cereals - mostly sorghum and maize - which TBL Group is unable to purchase.
Barley farming is a source of livelihood for more than 3000 farmers in rural Tanzania. This barley which is converted into Malt – a key ingredient in the manufacturing of beer – is enough to meet most of TBL Group’s requirements for its Arusha and Mwanza breweries. The balance that is needed for its Dar es Salaam and Mbeya Plants is bought on the world market for the country does not produce enough barley to meet local requirements. Insofar as grape farming is concerned, over 700 farmers in Dodoma are on the TDL Grape Farming program in Bihawana, Mpunguzi,, Mvumi, Hombolo, Mbabala, Veyula, Makang’wa, Mzakwe and Mbalawala villages.
These small farmers receive agricultural training and technical assistance from TDL viticulturists in partnership with experts from Makutupora Viticulture Training and Research Center (MVTRC). In addition to being on this scheme, small scale grape farmers’ children have access to scholarships offered by the Konyagi Social Trust - Zabibu na Shule Kwanza. This initiative provides the children, especially girls, with an opportunity to access formal education.
Farming and the creation of employment aside, TBL Group is the country’s largest taxpayer, having contributed Tshs 2.3 trillion/- in taxes to the government over the past 10 years. “Our Group’s contribution to the development of Tanzania through the collection and payment of tax continues to be recognised by various stakeholders in the country through the various accolades accorded to us by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) over the past four consecutive years,” says Jarrin.
Jarrin who was presenting an overview of his company’s contribution to the Tanzanian economy stated that TBL Group, which is the country’s poster child of a privatisation success story, invests approximately Tshs 150 billion/- per year in the upgrading of its breweries and distilleries to world class standards. ”
The company has 10 large scale manufacturing plants in Tanzania. Insofar as its breweries are concerned, Mwanza, Mbeya, Arusha and Dar es Salaam consistently rank among the best in SABMiller’s African operations. TBL Mwanza and Mbeya feature among the top 10 and 15 breweries in the world.
He says his company’s beer business has a 78% market share of the formal beer market which is primarily driven by Safari, Kilimanjaro, Ndovu, Castle Lager and Castle Lite brands. The company’s leading spirits and wines - Konyagi, Valeur and Dodoma Wine - command a combined market share of 73% this segment. For their part Traditional Beers – Chibuku and Nzagamba - account for 8% of Group’s volume and have an overall traditional beer market share of 8%. A recent study of the informal alcohol beer sector in Tanzania that was done by CanBack - a leading firm in the field of analytics - shows that traditional beers account for 50 per cent of the total alcohol market in the country.
Jarrin further says that DarBrew Limited offers traditional beer consumers with a sanitized option to informal alcohol through its Chibuku and Nzagamba brands which are available in various pack sizes and brands. The company has also taken the initiative of recruiting informal alcohol brewers of Chibuku as sales agents through its Chibuku Mamas Programme; 130 women have been enlisted on the programme to date.
On where he sees the business going, the TBL Group Managing Director says that beer business has stagnated due to among other things: the fact that; Beer is expensive relative to the vast majority of Tanzanians’ income for the vast majority of Tanzanians earn about Tsh 5,000/- a day; the prevalence of a large informal alcohol market and the lack of incentives that encourage local production of key raw materials such as malt as well.
Some of the solutions that the beer industry believes would contribute to the growth of the sector are tax increases that are below the rate of inflation; production (formalising and commercialising) of traditional beer in more sanitised conditions as well as excise remission on locally produced malt. Malt is a by-product of Barley which is a key ingredient in the making of beer. “Despite the prevailing conditions, we are a strong proponent of the current industrialisation drive because we have proven that it is possible to produce at World Class Standards in Tanzania, says Jarrin.