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Grupo Modelo's Zacatecas brewery is one of the largest in the world. Grupo Modelo's Zacatecas brewery is one of the largest in the world.

New malting plant will trigger cultivation of 140,000 hectares of barley

Grupo Modelo opens Mexico's biggest malting plant in Zacatecas

Multinational brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has opened Mexico’s largest malting plant, a US $60-million investment in Calera, Zacatecas.

The facility will not only supply malt to the brewer’s Mexican division, Grupo Modelo, but give a boost to agricultural production in the region in which it is located.

By next year it is expected to support barley production on 140,000 hectares of farm land in the state because it will require more than 200,000 tonnes of barley per year, most of which is expected to be provided by Zacatecas producers.

Grupo Modelo’s sustainability and agribusiness director, José Luis Taylor, explained that annual malt extract yield is expected to grow 135%, from 78,000 to 183,000 tonnes.

As well as benefitting local farmers by buying their barley, the company will introduce new barley varieties and help improve farming techniques.

With “the largest brewing plant in the world and the largest malting plant in Mexico,” Grupo Modelo is reasserting its commitment with Zacatecas to create more jobs and boost the farming sector, Taylor said.

The Calera facility is also shifting toward environmentally friendly production. Taylor explained that the plant’s electrical supply is generated by a wind farm in Puebla.

Grupo Modelo’s beer brands include Corona, Modelo and Pacífico. It is Mexico’s biggest beer maker.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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