Edinburgh social enterprise beer toasts Asda deal

Alastair Davis, Social Investment Scotland chief executive, Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder, Allan Miller, Asda Senior Director for Scotland. Picture: Greg Macvean/Contributed
Alastair Davis, Social Investment Scotland chief executive, Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder, Allan Miller, Asda Senior Director for Scotland. Picture: Greg Macvean/Contributed
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TURNING beer into water - Scottish social enterprise Brewgooder is celebrating after securing a national deal with Asda to stock their Clean Water Lager in 229 Asda stores across the UK.

Brewgooder took part in Asda’s Social Enterprise Supplier Academy, which was funded through proceeds from the supermarket’s carrier bag charge and launched earlier this year in partnership with Social Investment Scotland.

Through the Academy, Brewgooder received access to mentoring provided by Asda’s senior team and a £100,000 loan from the Asda Community Capital fund to support the business growth, job creation and acceleration of their clean water impact.

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Brewgooder is a craft beer label that donates 100% of its profits to clean water charities around the world.

The social enterprise was one of the first to take part in Asda’s Social Enterprise Supplier Academy, a UK first which launched earlier this year in partnership with Social Investment Scotland (SIS).

Now available in stores across the UK, Asda will stock the Clean Water Lager, with donations from each sale going towards helping provide clean water to over one million people around the world.

The product, developed with the help of BrewDog, taps into the current trend for craft beer, but does so by offering customers the satisfaction of knowing that the profits from their purchase are being invested in clean water schemes in the developing world.

Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder, commented: “When we applied to attend the Asda Social Enterprise Development Academy, we could never have envisaged that just six months later we’d have our products on shelf.

“The support from the team at Asda, from senior management to the buyers, has been transformational for Brewgooder.

“As one of the leading supermarkets, it’s a large route to market and a fantastic platform to get our message and our beers out to customers.

“With the volume of scale involved, it will accelerate our impact and the number of clean water projects we can support.”

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Allan Miller, Asda’s Senior Director for Scotland, said: “Asda’s partnership with Social Investment Scotland represents a significant commitment to develop the UK’s social enterprise sector and create a long term sustainable impact within communities across the country.

“It’s fantastic to see the skills and support delivered through the Academy have resulted in a listing for Brewgooder.

“By harnessing the power of our retail experience and expertise, along with our strong store estate and online shopping division, we can help social enterprises to access the large retail market.

“Investing in social entrepreneurs is an innovative way for Asda to ensure that our customers’ money, raised through the carrier bag charge, is continually reinvested in communities and delivers long-term positive benefits for Scotland.”

Alastair Davis, SIS Chief Executive, said: “By promoting social enterprise products as viable alternatives to their commercial counterparts, we have a fantastic opportunity to significantly increase the revenues raised by the sector and, in turn, create much more sustainable and long term social impacts for our communities up and down the country.”

Asda’s partnership with SIS to deliver the UK’s first Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy will help Scottish social enterprises to grow by providing expert advice and insight into supermarket trading disciplines.

Participants can benefit from grant funding and a bespoke programme of training and support, including modules covering topics ranging from marketing to supply chain management.

On an average weekend, Asda sells approximately 2.67million litres of beer – enough to fill an Olympic size swimming pool – and if just 1% of its beer sales were of Brewgooder’s Clean Water Lager, 1,000 people would gain access to clean water.

Asda is Scotland’s second largest supermarket, serving 1.9 million customers every week.

It employs more than 20,000 people in 61 stores and two depots across Scotland.

They support a further 10,000 jobs in Scotland through the wider supply chain and invest more than £1.1 billion a year with Scottish suppliers and manufacturers.

Social Investment Scotland was established in 2001 to provide a new finance model for Scotland’s charities and social enterprises.

Since then it has invested £53m in almost 250 organisations across Scotland.

Loan finance via Social Investment Scotland is available from £10,000 to £1m and is aimed at community enterprises and social businesses that might find access to finance from mainstream providers difficult.

Social Investment Scotland also helps to manage funds on behalf of third parties with any profits being re-invested into social business development in Scotland. SIS currently manages the largest social enterprise fund in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.