Six key areas for controlling the supply chain

Thanks to its experience and its international scope, Malteurop has developed real expertise over the entire malting-barley chain and a complete and dynamic approach to all aspects of barley supply and procurement.

To optimize its mastery of the value chain, respond to its customers’ needs, and accompany them in their international development with appropriate solutions suited to different regional contexts, Malteurop leverages its skills in key industry areas:

  • selection and varietal development;
  • seed production;
  • relations with growers;
  • collection and storage;
  • the logistics chain;
  • pricing.

Malting barley selection and varietal development

Malteurop’s technical departments develop varieties to meet the expectations of both brewers and growers. Brewers’ expectations are more and more elaborate — more concentrated extracts, enzyme and FAN levels suited to more and more distinct types of beers. As for the growers, they look for a yield that will let them obtain equivalent or higher revenue compared to other crops, as well as varieties with a high level of protein stability and calibration.

Varietal selection

Malteurop has its own cross-breeding program and its R&I department creates its own varieties. Varietal selection takes advantage of the Group’s geographical location in both hemispheres; it has a scientific research site at Irwell in New Zealand and a worldwide trial network for testing the varieties developed by the research program. Malteurop works with several university research institutes in North America and Australia, thus covering the world’s main barley production zones.

Varietal development

In order to offer the best varieties, the Group maintains privileged relations with worldwide breeders, in particular Secobra, a leader in varietal selection and seed production, in which it is a shareholder. The best varieties are tested in Malteurop’s local trial networks to confirm their adaptability to the pedoclimatic conditions of each region where the Group is present. Malteurop has a specialized team of agronomists to conduct this research in each country.

Malting barley seed production

Starting with first-generation seeds, Malteurop is capable of multiplying seeds on a large scale thanks to its networks of grower-multipliers and its own seed stations (three in the two hemispheres). Thus Malteurop can supply certified seeds which guarantee varietal purity, quality, and traceability of barley production.

A relationship of trust with barley producers

Relations with growers are essential for ensuring the safety and quality of barley supplies.

Malteurop Groupe has a unique strong point in this area: The Group was founded by growers and its shareholders are agricultural cooperatives which themselves belong to several thousands growers in northeastern France, a major grain-producing region.

Malteurop, which from its origin has maintained direct, extensive relations with the barley producers, thus has privileged access to the raw material. The Group has the benefit of the producers’ experience and knowledge of the soil, and also of the agronomic and R&D expertise of its shareholders. These are decisive advantages for production and supply of a highly technical cereal crop like malting barley — advantages it passes along to Malteurop’s brewer customers.

To consolidate these relations, in keeping with the local contexts, Malteurop makes use of contractualization of barley supply with the growers and provides agronomic support suited to each pedoclimatic region.

Malteurop accompanies the growers either directly, with dedicated agronomic teams — as for example in Ukraine — or through its shareholder cooperatives, as in France and Spain, in order to advise producers in their choice of varieties and crop itineraries.

Barley collection and storage

Malteurop works in close collaboration with storage entities, cooperatives, and growers to ensure the quality of storage of the harvest, preservation of the qualities of the grain, and good supply conditions for the raw material.

In countries where the procurement chain is insufficiently organized, Malteurop organizes storage or stores the different harvests in its own silos, guaranteeing optimum conservation conditions to protect all the potential of the grain. In Ukraine and Russia, for example, the grain is calibrated, cleaned, dried if necessary, and stored in order to preserve its brewing qualities until malting.

Managing transport and the logistics chain

A dedicated team, present in the principal zones where the Group operates and centrally coordinated, enables Malteurop to manage the international barley and malt logistics chain and ensure that the best logistical choices are made in terms of routing, mode of transport and selection of operators.

Malteurop’s presence in different areas of the world, during years when production faces difficulties in a given region, enables the Group to provide alternative solutions to the Group’s malting plants and its brewer customers by organizing shipping of malting barley and malt from one region to another.

Managing malting-barley price risks

Price volatility has become a structural phenomenon in recent years. The resulting uncertainty as to prices can have a negative impact on the economic bottom line of companies in the industry.

Malteurop has availed itself of the necessary skills for ensuring effective management of price risks in order to protect itself from the negative effects of that price volatility, while at the same time leveraging the market opportunities it generates. Malteurop does this by offering innovative price formulas to brewers and growers. They allow prices to be fixed, thus providing visibility and security while taking advantage of favorable market scenarios.

The challenge for the industry is to ensure the permanence and stability of malting barley production and the results of the economic players. The long-term contracts and dynamic solutions for price management offered by Malteurop are contributing to that.