Syngenta and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) announced a partnership to secure the sourcing of high-quality malting barley, the key raw material for the beer industry.

Under the agreement, growers will have access to the best Syngenta malting barley varieties and a tailored growing approach, which includes training and advice on agronomy and sustainable farming practices. By following the protocol, growers will achieve superior yields when compared with current market standards, enabling them to supply AB InBev with consistently high-quality grain to meet the exacting standards for beer production.

Syngenta Chief Operating Officer John Atkin said, “We’ve announced a winning combination today. Growers will be able to consistently achieve higher yields of top-quality malting barley, which will increase their incomes and help Anheuser-Busch InBev meet growing demand for its products.”

Tony Milikin, chief procurement officer of AB InBev, commented, “We wish to keep barley relevant and interesting for growers by helping them develop their business in a qualitative, sustainable and profitable way. We work with them towards achieving a better yield – investing in the development of improved varieties while providing access to high quality seeds, the latest technology and expert advice from skilled agronomists. This is part of our dream to be the best beer company bringing people together for a better world.

“As we work with more than 15,000 growers through longstanding barley programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, China and Russia, we look forward to turning this new project into a shared success that we can scale.”

The first phase of the partnership will take place in Argentina. It will involve 160 growers and cover 14,000 hectares. The joint offer could be scalable to other markets where there would be opportunities to increase value for growers.

It is interesting to note that Anheuser-Busch InBev recently began posting online the ingredients used to produce its beer, which would suggest that the quality of malting barley might be looked at by the public as a major reason to pick one brand of beer over another. The posting of ingredients was in reaction to food bloggers and petition drives to have beer ingredients available for consideration by the public.

Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors were the first two companies to post beer ingredients of some brands with the promise to provide ingredients of their entire line-up of brands. The ingredient lists are quite basic and almost the same from one brand to the next.