Asahi Beverages throws party to celebrate its Victorian barley farmers

March 26, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Last week, Asahi Beverages invited 30 of Victoria’s leading barley farmers to Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium for an exclusive celebratory dinner experience. The event was designed as a commemoration to the ongoing partnership between the state’s barley farmers and Asahi-owned Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), Australia’s biggest brewer.  

“It is a privilege to have access to Victorian barley, which is among the world’s best,” said Amanda Sellers, CEO at Asahi Beverages Group. 

“Our relationship with our farming partners and rural communities is extremely important and we wanted to thank them by sharing a meal, a beer and a few stories.”

CUB became a part of Asahi beverages in mid-2020 following a major transaction which involved Asahi borrowing $16 million. Since then, it has been working on improving its relationships with its barley suppliers via a tailored program.

“We elevated our partnership with farmers three years ago when we launched the Victorian Barley Program,” said Sellers. 

“Our direct relationship with growers helps ensure we only use the best barley. The Program provides us with clear oversight of the growing process and we can trace barley right back to the paddock. 

“In addition, it gives growers the confidence and financial security to invest in new technology and make improvements in farming sustainability and efficiency.”

The Victorian Barley Program is delivered by Riordan Grain, a family owned enterprise that posesses one of the largest grain handling precincts in Victoria.

“The event was a tremendous success and allowed farmers to catch up with each other, learn a little but most importantly have some fun,” said Owner Jim Riordan.

“We love being a part of the Victorian Barley program because it supports Victorian farming communities. One of the special things about beer is that people come together to enjoy it socially. The local pub and the beer that it serves have long been an incredibly important part of rural Victoria.”

The function took place at Geelong’s GMHBA stadium, which recently announced a five year extension to its CUB partnership. Attendees were invited to enjoy dinner and beers brewed using their own barley, supported by presentations from Amanda Sellers, from Geelong Football Club CEO Steven Hocking, and from various experts in agronomy, mental health, and more. 

Currently, CUB uses 40,000 tonnes of Victorian-grown barley to brew over 300 million litres of beer each year at its Abbotsford Brewery. The Abbotsford Brewey is responsible for the production of beers such as VB, Carlton Draught and Great Northern. 

“This procurement model is a win for Asahi Beverages, a win for beer lovers and a win for farmers and their communities,” said Sellers.

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