In Scotland, there is a social enteprise brewery called Brewgooder, if I recall correctly, they were a established by a collaboration between Brewdog and Josh Littlejohn whose most notable other social enterprise tackles homelessness in very inspirational ways. His company Social Bite employs and trains homeless folks and all profits are put towards ending homelessness, they have built a small village in Edinburgh for homeless and in particular those with drug dependencies which includes free counselling and is a fantastic initiative.. Anyway, side-tracked a bit.. 100% of Brewgooder’s profits are invested in providing infrastructure for the provision of clean water in Africa, largely Malawi it seems, which makes sense as Scotland and Malawi have some sort of long-standing partnership, so easy access.
I’m an avid supporter of these enterprises and am on a path to one day having my own brewery, though very early days, it will be several years before then.. However, once established, I intend to visit breweries in Africa to learn first-hand about Sorghum beers and learn as much as I can about this grain. Then, I’ll grow it and use it to brew a beer which will be a permanent line.. Probably a lager, even though I have previously stated that it is a type of beer I have no interest in brewing, particularly in Japan where the giants of brewing (Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory) own the market.. But lager is Japan’s favourite beer and so will likely sell more than my other lines. If, or rather when that happens, 100% of the profits of that beer will be sent to Africa. In fact, any experimental beers using sorgham will be the same. I will need to research much closer to the time the best way to direct the funds to those most needy and will reach out to those more knowledgable than I, but this is my “commitment” as of now. Charity as a social construct seems to be a little rare in Japan but we’ll change that, the Japanese are as kind and charitable as anyone else so I don’t suppose it’ll be a hard sell.
The initial focus of my brewery will be to support local community projects, to promote local artists and to provide a reasonable income for my family and the families of those who to choose to join us. We have no plans of world or even Japan-wide domination so even if our Sorgham-based lager is our most popular line the contribution to Africa is likely to be smaller than that of Brewgooder.. But maybe we can encourage wealthier humanitarians to multiply our efforts.. we’ll see.
The continent of Africa owes nothing to anyone but we all owe everything to her. For the first time in my life I can see a path (other than financially contributing meagre amounts, when I can afford to, to other initiatives) to help tangibly elevate development in Africa,. The so-called “third world” needs us and the “first world” needs a lasting lesson in humility. There is no justification for the struggle for basic amenities that many of us take for granted and squander.. clean water still isn’t a guaranteed commodity in many places ffs! Water! This is the cradle of humanity we’re talking about..
It is obviously very easy to make these statements about a theoretical future company, and the brewery might never happen (it will!) but when we are in a position to do so, we will make a difference! This, should and will be a blog entry and one which will feature in all of our “theoretical” future business ethics statements.