Castle Lager says that it uses high-quality, locally-grown grains to brew beer. 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.

Castle Lager brand director Wendy Bedforth says, "For over 127 years, South African Breweries and Castle Lager have always represented the values of resilience and unity, bringing together South Africans through our 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 hard-working 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," adds Bedforth.

According to the brand, this innovation contributes meaningfully to the South African Breweries and Castle Lager's zero-waste and sustainability commitments and its ongoing drive to reduce carbon emissions and minimise the impact of operations on the environment.

The excess grain by-product left over after the brewing process was previously sold to cattle farmers. Through this initiative, the by-product will now be repurposed for further impact on communities, the brand adds.

Castle Lager says to optimise the distribution of this bread mix, it has teamed up with a non-governmental food-rescue organisation and hunger relief SA Harvest, which will use its footprint and partnerships to distribute the bread.

SA Harvest's mission is to end hunger in South Africa. It has delivered 38.6 million meals since its inception in October 2019 by rescuing 11.6 million kilograms of food that would otherwise go to waste. It has a network of over 200 beneficiary organisations around the country.

"As a caring corporate citizen, Castle Lager has been actively seeking innovative ways to improve the lives of South Africans. This campaign allows us an opportunity to use Mzansi's national beer's by-Product to showcase the 'Goodness Within Castle'," adds Bedforth

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 tonnes of food goes 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," adds Browde.

"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," Browde says.

According to a report released by Statistics South Africa (Measuring Food Security in South Africa: 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, says the brand. 

"Bread of the Nation eloquently translates the ethos of our new brand campaign, 'It's Within', which celebrates the shared values of courage and optimism that South Africans use to rise above their daily challenges and causes of hopelessness and pessimism," says Bedforth.

"What better way to bring this renewed hope than by using the goodness within South African Breweries and Castle Lager to fuel this South African spirit? 'Bread of the Nation' represents an innovation for good," Bedforth concludes.

The initiative's launch kicked off in Walkerville, south of Johanessburg, on Wednesday, 8 March. 'Bread of the Nation' will be run for three years to assess its feasibility. 

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