France’s InVivo Inaugurates its First African Maltery in Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA – Malteries Soufflet, a company owned by France’s InVivo Group, has inaugurated its first malthouse on the African continent in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

The factory, located at Bole Lemi Industrial Park, was inaugurated on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Equipped with state-of-the art infrastructure, the malt house has an annual production capacity of 60,000 tons per year, and is aiming for 110,000 tons in the short term.

This new malt house is also the first in the world to be zero carbon emission, using energy produced by hydroelectric dams, said the French firm.

Prime Minister Abiy hailed the investment by Invivo Group as “commendable”.

“Ethiopia stands ready to welcome and create an enabling environment for committed investors interested in operating at such a large scale,” the PM said.

– 100% Local Production –

Ethiopia is Africa’s largest barley producer and the continent’s fourth largest beer producer, with a market growing by nearly 15% a year.

However, the local supply of malt and barley production are not sufficient to cover the needs of the sector and keep up with its expansion.

Malteries Soufflet’s ambition is to source 100% local barley, which represents a necessary volume of 80,000 tons of barley per year, within two years.

To meet this target, the company has been supporting the 50,000 small producers in the Oromia region for several years by relying on agronomic and commercial advisors and technicians.

With this new location, Malteries Soufflet said it has initiated a project to replace imports along the entire value chain – ranging from the barley used, mostly grown locally, to the malt is sold directly to local brewers.

This will significantly reduce imports of raw materials, which currently account for 70% of the market, and limit the transport of goods, the firm said.

Malteries Soufflet’s production through a link established with local farmers “is key in supporting national import substitution efforts”, said Prime Minister Abiy.

In addition to the created market link, Soufflet Ethiopia employs a team of 100 people and also generated more than 200 indirect jobs, mainly in rural areas, to ensure barley quality control and handling.

– First barley collector in Ethiopia –

More than $2 million was invested by Malteries Soufflet in 2017 to support the barley value chain, while improving farmer productivity and resolving various bottlenecks.

The company made the investment with the involvement of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and other agencies.

This investment is now yielding “excellent results with local production steadily increasing, according to Soufflet Ethiopia. In 2022, after 5 years of investment, Malteries Soufflet is sourcing more than 75% of its barley locally and expects to reach 100% by 2024.

The seed sector has been invested in to support production and access to quality, high-yielding seeds.

“50,000 farmers will supply our plant with 80,000 tons of barley per year. Our support is already improving farm yields and connecting farmers to the market, which will have a large-scale impact on local communities,” said Christophe Passelande, Director of Agriculture and Malt at the InVivo Group.

The InVivo group, with the recent acquisition of the Soufflet group, is one of Europe’s leading agricultural groups, with sales of nearly €10 billion, more than half of which are generated in France, and a workforce of more than 13,000 employees, including more than 10,000 in France.