The Vivescia Group and its Malteurop malting division celebrated the inauguration of a new malthouse in Meoqui, situated in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. With an annual malt production capacity of 120,000 tonnes, this facility will empower Malteurop, one of the world's three leading malt producers, to explore new opportunities in the Mexican market. Notably, this project signifies the first investment in Mexico by a major player in the malt industry.
In September 2019, the company laid the first stone (inside.beer, 3.9.2019) and has since invested EUR 112 million in the new Malthouse. Malteurop has spent the last three years establishing a 100% local supply chain through collaboration with approximately 500 local farmers engaged in malting barley production.
Over the past three years, Malteurop has also established partnerships with nearly 500 farmers, encouraging them to diversify into malting barley as an additional crop. Working closely with Vivescia Cooperative's teams, Malteurop provided support to farmers, focusing on agro-ecological best practices and low-carbon farming techniques. This new malting barley crop now spans nearly 35,000 hectares and undergoes two annual harvests , thus ensuring a 100% local supply chain.
Mexico is currently one of the world's fastest-growing beer markets, experiencing approximately 8% growth in 2022, and is a substantial malt importer. With its newly established malthouse in Meoqui, Malteurop contributes to a sustainable local ecosystem, emphasizing a shorter, more environmentally friendly supply chain, in partnership with farmers and brewers, notably Heineken, whose latest facility is adjacent to the malthouse.
As Vivescia and its malting business expand into Mexico, the company remains committed to climate action and decarbonizing its value chain, currently finalizing its roadmap for SBTi certification. Aligned with Vivescia Group's strategy, Malteurop aims to significantly reduce its carbon footprint by 2030. This includes a 25% reduction in total carbon emissions across scopes 1, 2, and 3, with a targeted 38% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from its direct operations (scope 1 and 2). To achieve this, Malteurop plans to intensify efforts to assist farmers in adopting regenerative, low-carbon farming practices that promote soil health and biodiversity. This year, Malteurop joined the TRANSITIONS program, led by Vivescia Cooperative in North-East France, which allows them to use the program as a large-scale experimental platform and replicate its successful practices in other regions.
Christoph Büren, President of Vivescia Group, stated, "Our expansion into Mexico represents a significant milestone in the international growth of our malt business. This new malthouse also underscores French industrial and agricultural expertise while addressing local economic needs and the imperative of sustainability. During the construction of this malthouse, Malteurop's agronomic and varietal development teams have established a 100% local barley supply chain, an extension of our established business model on Vivescia's cooperative territory in France."
Olivier Hautin, Managing Director of Malteurop, added, "This malting plant is the culmination of nearly four years of work, from initial discussions with local farmers through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the successful launch of the malthouse in the summer of 2023, with the production of the first malt batches. With an annual capacity of 120,000 tonnes of malt, potentially extendable to 150,000 tonnes in the future, this new facility positions us to meet the needs of brewers in a particularly thriving market facing a malt shortage, a pivotal ingredient in beer production. This project exemplifies Malteurop's well-established capability to develop new industrial ventures globally."
His Excellency Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, France's Ambassador to Mexico, remarked, "Malteurop, with its malt production expertise and close ties to the French agricultural community, will contribute to rural development in Chihuahua. It will also support Mexico's brewing industry, which has become one of the most significant in the world."