Asahi, Riordan partner on barley for Vic brewing

Grain Central, August 15, 2023

Asahi Beverages and Riordan Grain Services staff and management toast the new partnership between the companies. Photo: Asahi Beverages/Riordan Grain Services

ASAHI Beverages and Riordan Grain Services are partnering in support of Australian barley growers for long-term end-to-end supply chain sustainability.

The initiative will see Asahi working closely with Riordan and its grower customers to add value and collaborate on immediate needs and future-focused developments.

The partnership means Asahi, as owners of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), and Riordan will work with growers to secure supply of the best barley, manage logistics for the malting process and deliver malt to Asahi to brew CUB’s beers.

“Barley malt is the heart and soul of our beer and defines its taste, aroma, colour and foam,” Asahi Beverages group general manager of direct procurement Dave Baxter said.

“It’s fantastic Victorians can enjoy a fresh Carlton Draught, Victoria Bitter or any beer brewed at our Abbotsford brewery knowing they’re directly supporting local Australian farmers.

“Importantly, this partnership allows us to continue to track barley back to the field where it was grown and to have direct relationships with farmers, which form part of a new model of barley procurement that Asahi implemented nearly three years ago.”

Grain services manager Mark Lewis said Riordan’s long history of working with malting barley growers, coupled with its logistics expertise and access to end-use markets, will add value to the partnership.

“We’ve operated in the malting barley industry for nearly 30 years now and have invested to develop a strong grower base, along with numerous regional storage locations,” Mr Lewis said.

“We see and understand the efforts and hard work the growers and storage operators commit to the industry, so we are rapt to be jointly supporting this with such an important end user.

“This kind of commitment from Asahi is great to see; it will make a real on-the-ground difference to our barley growers and the broader supply chain.”

One early example of the Asahi-Riordan initiative is a research trial recently commissioned with Southern Farming Systems at Inverleigh, Victoria, assessing a new biostimulant designed to improve soil condition and crop health in cereal-cropping systems.

“This emerging technology could be a useful addition for our growers, and we hope to release some more information about the trial post-harvest.”

“Other areas we are looking at include further varietal development, sustainability initiatives that improve market access, and potential measures to help lower carbon footprints.

“We are also looking at ways we can be supportive in relation to the mental health of growers and local community engagement initiatives.”

“Investments like these are the perfect example of how we see the benefits of this partnership flowing through to growers.”

Riordan Grain Services is a grain and logistics storage company which started in Geelong with one truck in 1996; it is now one of Australia’s largest privately owned grain businesses and remains in family hands.

The company markets grains, oilseeds, and pulses for domestic and export customers.

It is accredited to store and transport imported fertiliser, whole coarse grain, and meal products for the Australian market through its privately owned storage facilities.

Asahi Beverages is a member of Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings, and owns some of Australia’s leading alcoholic beverage and soft-drink labels.

Asahi Beverages has three business divisions: CUB; Asahi Lifestyle Beverages (formerly Schweppes Australia), and Asahi Beverages New Zealand.

Source: Asahi Beverages, Riordan Grain Services

Asahi in 2021 announced Pure Grain as its supply-chain partner for Asahi’s Yatala brewery, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Queensland, with barley malted at the United Malt Group plant at Pinkenba in Brisbane.



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