Asahi Beverages and Riordan Grain Services partner in support of Australian barley farmers achieving long-term sustainability

Asahi Beverages (Asahi) and Riordan Grain Services (Riordan) 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 Riordan and Asahi, which owns the iconic Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), 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 famous beers.

Dave Baxter, Group General Manager of Direct Procurement at Asahi Beverages, says “Barley malt is the heart and soul of our beer and defines its taste, aroma, colour and foam. 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 says Riordan’s long history of working with malt 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.

“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,” Mr Lewis said.

“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.”