Posted by: Anni Orekh | July 22, 2011

Opportunity for Dominican Republic Brewers to Source Canadian Barley Malt

 Opportunity for Central American, Caribbean Brewers to Source North American ( US/ Canada)  Barley Malt       

With intense competition in barley malt and malting barley sales coming from European and Canadian exporters, the United States faces several barriers to exporting barley to Central American and Caribbean breweries who rely heavily on imported product.

Likewise, independent breweries in the region have started looking for ways to better manage their price risk when purchasing malt as global supplies continue to tighten.

Such circumstances have created a unique opportunity for U.S. barley to move directly to Central American and Caribbean breweries that have predominately sourced their needs from non-U.S. suppliers.

Recognizing the potential created by these combined factors, the U.S. Grains Council recently hosted a strategic planning workshop in Panama City, Panama. Representatives from four independent breweries in Central America and the Caribbean attended. The workshop discussed ways the regional countries can work together to purchase barley from the United States.

“Individually, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica import small amounts of barley from other countries, but at a higher risk,” said Kurt Shultz, USGC regional director of the Latin American and Caribbean region. “The focus of the workshop was for all four countries to discuss ways they can work together and import greater volumes of the product from the United States with less risk.”

The Council has been promoting a change in existing business models that enhance overall brewery profitability and increase U.S. malt exports to the region. “It was nice to meet with the brewer representatives from the Dominican Republic and Central America, building on their tour of U.S. barley growing areas last autumn,” said Herb Karst of Karag, Inc., who led the workshop. “We spent time analyzing how a U.S. contracting program could give them a high quality, reliable source of supply. It will be interesting to see how they choose to purchase co-operatively in order to maximize efficiencies in sourcing and shipping barley to their respective breweries.”

Karst said he was also able to introduce participants to the contracting model that has been so successful in supplying a major Mexican brewery with U.S. malting barley. Shultz said that at the conclusion of the workshop, participating brewery representatives agreed to develop within the next four to six weeks a specific timeline and plan on how they will proceed in their efforts to source U.S. malting barley.

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