Growing Jamaica,
Brewing a Better World.

Published: April 2016

4 minute read

With an audacious ambition of doubling its export business by the year 2018, Red Stripe is strategically positioning itself to achieve that goal by using sustainability and innovation as pathways to growth. Central to this strategy is a deliberate move to increase the use of local raw materials in the brewing of its iconic beer. This is at the heart of the company’s cassava production initiative dubbed Project Grow and a plank in its overall commitment to brewing a better world.

In 2015, the Jamaican beer giant was acquired by Heineken NV, a multi-national company which embraces sustainability as the basis for production and growth. With a business philosophy built on respect for the environment, Heineken’s core values are completely aligned with those of Red Stripe.

As a major player in the local manufacturing sector, the 98 year old Kingston-based business hopes to further cement its position by amplifying its sustainability agenda. Under its Brewing a Better World platform, Red Stripe has committed to focusing on six areas of sustainability that will make the biggest impact in reducing environmental and social risks.

  1. Protecting water resources
  2. Reducing CO2 emissions
  3. Sourcing sustainably
  4. Advocating responsible consumption
  5. Growing with Communities
  6. Promoting Health and Safety

Driven by these principles, the beer company will be fast tracking its plans to increase cassava production as it fulfils a commitment to use more locally sourced raw materials in beer production. In addition to the cascading benefits to the local agriculture sector, national exports will also expand when Red Stripe brings back production of export volumes in the last quarter of 2016. Both decisions will create countless opportunities for Jamaicans and the wider economy.

On the corporate social responsibility side, through its Learning for Life programme, the company aims to train another 1500 young Jamaicans by the end of 2016, bringing to 12,500 the number of young people equipped with a marketable skill courtesy of the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation. The company also aims to tackle underage drinking through continued focus on its responsible drinking campaign now being rolled out in various programmes targeting public education in schools, parent workshops and retailer engagement.

With this foundation, Red Stripe is in a unique position to further promote its philosophy of respect for people and planet in the Jamaican marketplace and inevitably weave itself into the global tapestry of world leaders in corporate social responsibility.

Red Stripe’s consistent support and promotion of sport and music

Out of many, one people. A motto that is truly representative of the diversity of the Jamaican people and culture. The small island with a huge global presence is the finished product of an interesting mix of African, European and Caribbean influence. Boasting a rich historic past that spans across different continents Jamaica has managed to maintain a strong sense of self-identity that is second to none of similar land mass and population density.

Boxing well above her weight class, the island has managed to infiltrate some very remote parts of the world through her music and athletic prowess on the world stage. Not unlike, the great Jamaican beer, Red Stripe has also maintained its legacy in the global marketplace. It would only be fitting that Red Stripe would forge strategic relationship of culture and business in a bid to increase the value of brand Jamaica. This symbiotic relationship demonstrates how intricately woven these elements of culture are to the vibrancy and energy of the Jamaican people. Sports and music have been the two main pillars used by the company to build its relationship with consumers.

You would be hard pressed to not find someone enjoying a bottle of ice cold Red Stripe beer in the local dancehall space or any social gathering. The beer became synonymous with celebrations and championed itself to ‘celebrating life, everywhere, everyday’ under its Diageo Plc owners up to October 2015. Red Stripe beer has become equivalent with having a good time, whether locally or abroad. It is a mark of legitimacy of an entertainment event.

The organic relationship between the beer and the music made it easy for the brand to align itself with major local music festival productions and local artistes to take the entertainment landscape by storm. The brand has deep involvement with Reggae Sumfest and Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival as part of a bigger agenda of ensuring that the crisp foaming beverage is duly represented in the marketing of Jamaica as an entertainment destination.

Over the years, Red Stripe’s commitment to the sporting arena has been shown in its sponsorship of the National Bobsled team, Cricket World Cup, and an over $100 million sponsorship to the Jamaica Football Federation in support of the National team’s regional qualifying efforts for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. More recently, in 2014 Red Stripe invested heavily in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) and has committed to the sponsorship of the island’s biggest football league for another five years. In addition to the financial commitment to the sport, Red Stripe has also invested heavily in the development of the players through the RSPL Player Development Programme. This programme is a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on a holistic development of the players, on and off the field.

The value of these investments are only a few ways in which the world’s coolest beer company will continue to support brand Jamaica and nation building as it approaches its 100th year.

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