May 13, 2022

Major Mexican Brewer Visits U.S. Barley States

Mexico was the top U.S. barley purchaser in the 2020/2021 marketing year

To renew and expand the purchasing programs of a major brewer in Mexico, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) welcomed the company’s new procurement team to the U.S. this week as part of a program to learn more about U.S. barley.

The group is being hosted by the North Dakota Barley Council and Idaho Barley Commission in each organization’s respective state.

For years, the council has actively promoted U.S. barley as the best option for the Mexican brewing industry. Through past programming, the council has specifically provided the brewer with educational trainings, visits to malting facilities and has helped connect their representatives with barley farmers as part of the company’s contracting program.

Mexico was the top U.S. barley purchaser in the 2020/2021 marketing year, buying 412,097 metric tons, or 18,927,450 bushels.

The benefits of U.S. barley

The brewer recently upgraded several of its facilities to increase production, and demand from the company should grow consistently over the next couple of years.

“Getting back to the field is something that needs to be done. After two years of lockdown, there have been changes in personnel within companies, so they are eager to learn, gain field experience and make direct contact with the farmers they contract with,” said Javier Chavez, USGC marketing specialist in Mexico.

Chavez and Sadie Marks, USGC manager of global programs, are leading the team on visits with U.S. barley growers and taking part in educational programming at the Northern Crops Institute. The goal of these activities is to offer information about U.S. barley production, the contracting process for securing malting barley, and how to effectively work with U.S. growers.

The council and its barley grower counterparts hope this mission will not only provide educational resources for the brewer’s group, but it will also reconnect the company with U.S. farmers it has had relations with in the past, while expanding its direct farmer procurement program.

“We are improving relationships by traveling across barley country this week,” Marks said. “Being able to meet with producers, tour family operations and learn about planting intentions has shown the care that’s behind the ingredient.

"This is our first barley team to visit the U.S. since the pandemic, and it’s proven that a virtual call can’t beat a handshake and a discussion. By building these relationships, we’re showing firsthand the dependability and quality of U.S. barley that’ll continue for years to come.”

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