PARIS – French grain group Soufflet, which is building a malting factory in Ethiopia, reveals its plan to satisfy malt demands created in the growing brewery industry.
Beer consumption in Ethiopia has tripled over the past six years – forcing the country to import 100 million euros worth malt annually.
The trend is expected to increase even more while malt production in the country remains constant – 50, 000 tones per year.
Christophe Passelande, director general at Malteriest Soufflet, said the country has to import the product to satisfy 70 percent the malt demand created by the growing brewery industry.
The country invested 50 million Euro to import malt in 2018 alone. Soufflet’s estimates show that the bill may increase as high as 90 million euro in 2020.
He said with the demand can not be satisfied with the current malt factories operating in the country alone. Assela Malt Factory and Gondar Malt Factory are only supplying 30 percent of the total malt demand of breweries.
“But together with them, the demand can be satisfied once our factory starts production,” Passelande said while speaking The Daily Monitor at the company’s major malt factory in France.
Soufflet plans to complete the construction of its malting factory in Bole Lemi Industrial Park in the final quarter of 2020 and will have an initial production of 60,000 tons, the company said.
Ethiopia is the largest barley producer in Africa. Soufflet’s plant, company’s overseas countries manager Jean-Francois Fevre said, is located close to many of the barley fields in the country.
“We started to deal directly with barley growers ahead of time – two years ago,” said Fevre who revealed the factory’s plan to use all its raw material locally.
The company says, together with agricultural transformation agency, it is reinforcing the agricultural, technical and commercial development of various barley growing areas including south, west, south-west and north of Addis Ababa.
The plan is to enable 40,000 farmers produce 80,000 tons of barley by 2020, when the factory, which is being constructed at cost of 70 million euro in two phases, will not face input for production.