PARIS (Reuters) - French grain group Vivescia will build its first malt production unit in Mexico, backed by a long-term contract to supply the beer ingredient to global brewer Heineken (HEIN.AS).
Vivescia’s Malteurop division plans to open the factory in Meoqui in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua in the second half of 2021, with an annual capacity of 120,000 tonnes of malt, Malteurop said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Heineken, which opened a brewery at an adjacent site in Meoqui last year, would be one of the main customers for the future malt factory, a Malteurop spokeswoman said.
Mexico, a major beer market, will be Malteurop’s 14th country of production. As in other parts of the world, it plans to source barley, the raw material for making malt, locally.
The malt firm has been developing contacts with farmers about switching some land to barley, which is little grown in the region, the spokeswoman said.
Vivescia is one of a trio of French-based global malt producers alongside fellow farmer cooperative Axereal and family-owned Soufflet.
Axereal announced a deal in December to buy the malt business of U.S. agribusiness group Cargill.
Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Edmund Blair