Commissioning of the Soufflet malting plant in Addis Ababa

15 June | 2021

The Group is developing the barley-malt sector in Ethiopia to meet the needs of a booming market


In May 2021, Malteries Soufflet launched malt production at its new plant in Ethiopia with a local supply chain for malting barley. This ambitious plan is part of Malteries SOUFFLET's strategy to develop operations outside Europe, which already include Brazil, Argentina and India.

100% local production for a growing market
Ethiopia is the largest producer of barley for food and fodder in Africa and the beer market is expanding by 15% each year. The local supply of malt, however, is not sufficient to meet demand: in 2018, the beer sector imported €50 million worth of malt.
This establishment of Malteries Soufflet in Ethiopia is the group's first in the barley sector in Africa, Malteries Soufflet being present in 14 other countries. The new malthouse in Addis Ababa is the Group's 28th malthouse.

Located on 10 hectares in the suburbs of Addis Ababa, Soufflet Malt Ethiopia benefits from a strategic location, close to the barley crops. Equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, the malthouse aims to produce 60,000 tonnes in the first year and hopes to eventually reach a production capacity of 110,000 tonnes per year.
With this establishment, the Soufflet Group is committed to a project to replace imports throughout the value chain: the barley used is grown locally and the malt is sold directly to local brewers. This will significantly reduce imports, which currently represent 70% of the market.

Developing the local barley-malt sector
In order to produce locally all the barley for malting within three years, the Group has been supporting the agricultural, technical and commercial development of the regions to the south and west of Addis Ababa for four years. Malteries Soufflet practices this model of development through local channels in each of its establishments around the world. A team of forty-five agronomic and commercial advisors and technicians support farmers and aggregators in variety selection and agronomy, seed multiplication and crop management. This team brings together experts from Malteries Soufflet, local collection centre managers and the partner NGO EUCORD (European Cooperative for Rural Development).

"40,000 farmers will supply our plant with 80,000 tonnes of barley per year. Our support will improve farm yields and connect farmers to the market, which will have a large-scale impact on local communities." Christophe Passelande, Managing Director of the Soufflet Group.

Construction of the plant started in March 2019 and was completed by the end of April 2021. The COVID-19 health crisis led to disruptions, especially given the large number of people working there (up to 900 in some phases). However, the smooth running of the site was not significantly affected and the factory started the first tests at the beginning of May and is now in continuous production.

An employer of significant size
Malteries Soufflet employs a team of 100 people in Ethiopia. Forty-five people work on the development of the barley sector and thirty-five manage the operation of the plant and silos; 20 are in administrative functions. In addition, the new plant has created more than 200 indirect jobs, especially in rural areas for barley quality control and handling.
Malteries Soufflet, the leading collector of barley in Ethiopia.
Each year since its establishment, and thanks to the strategy of structuring the sector, local collection has increased significantly. For the 2020 - 2021 collection, the Group has collected 70% local barley and aims to quickly collect 100% of its needs from Ethiopian farmers. This year, Malteries Soufflet is the largest producer of certified malting barley seed and the largest collector of barley in Ethiopia.

A partnership with the IFC
The IFC, a subsidiary of the World Bank, is the financial partner in the industrial project. The institution also supports the Group in the development of barley cultivation through the NGO EUCORD.

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