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Our ethical approach to business in Ethiopia

In January we completed the purchase of Meta Abo Brewery from the Ethiopian government. Bringing this great business into Diageo has involved a lot of work around sharing our culture and values, and complying with our Code of Business Conduct, which has been embraced wholeheartedly by our new colleagues.

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The process of acquiring Meta Abo Brewery is a good example of how we’ve embedded compliance and ethics into our M&A activity. Part of that included creating a list of standards to be implemented in the new business to bring it in line with Diageo’s policies. We also took on a number of community responsibilities as part of the deal – including maintaining a bore hole used by local people close to the brewery, which we plan to extend.

‘Engaging employees is a huge part of our work,’ said Amber Pawsey, compliance and ethics integration manager, who has been creating the plan to bring Meta Abo Brewery’s policies and processes in line with Diageo’s, ‘and the response from them has been amazing. After one compliance training session, people were saying that our Code is the best thing that’s ever happened to the business. And it’s clear that just six months in, people are already embracing our values and feeling part of the Diageo family.’

Another important piece of work associated with our acquisition of Meta Abo Brewery is the barley sourcing agreement we signed in May with the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, which was announced on the eve of the G8 summit. Under this agreement, we pledged to source a significant and increasing amount of barley locally, which will have a hugely positive impact on local farmers.