Aussie barley targets new African market

Aussie barley targets new African market

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Australia's barley sector is looking to diversify its export markets and has its sights set on the African nation of Ethiopia as one potential option.

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Ethiopia has a rich brewing history.

Ethiopia has a rich brewing history.

THE AUSTRALIAN malt barley industry is setting its sights on developing links with Africa in a bid to widen its network of customers.

A particular focus will be the Horn of Africa nation of Ethiopia.

While the average Australian beer drinker is unlikely to know it Ethiopia, a predominately Christian nation, has a rich history of brewing, with barley one of the major staple crops grown, especially in the highland regions.

Per capita consumption sits at 11.5 litres, with fiercely loyal attachment to brands such as Harar, Bedele and St George.

Light lager styles are generally most popular, but there is also a significant amount of stout, such as the Hakim brand, consumed.

The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) recently held a webinar for Ethiopian maltsters and brewers in collaboration with Barley Australia, Grain Trade Australia (GTA) and Grains Australia to demonstrate the end use qualities of Australian barley, along with practical advice on how to optimise value for the Ethiopian beer industry.

AEGIC barley markets manager Mary Raynes said she felt there was a natural fit for Australian malting barley in Ethiopia.

"There is good potential for growth in demand for beer in Ethiopia, and Australian malting barley is well placed to enter this market," Ms Raynes said.

"Australian barley has an excellent reputation globally thanks to a very strong breeding program and the robust accreditation program.

"There will be a healthy volume of malting barley available for export this season and we're expecting some strong interest from Ethiopia."

AEGIC is planning similar events targeting potential barley markets in the Americas, including Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.

AEGIC acknowledges and thanks the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) for supporting these events.

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The story Aussie barley targets new African market first appeared on Farm Online.

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