Tour brews grain insight

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Cally DupeThe West Australian
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Manypeaks grower Nathan Dovey exits a tunnel with a grin at Cu Chi, a tourist venue near Ho Chi Minh.
Camera IconManypeaks grower Nathan Dovey exits a tunnel with a grin at Cu Chi, a tourist venue near Ho Chi Minh. Credit: Cally Dupe

The number of grain producers to be offered a spot on next year’s CBH grower study tour is yet to be decided.

A record-breaking 42 growers returned from Vietnam on Saturday night, almost double the number of participants usually invited to the annual trip to Asia.

The study tour was launched a decade ago to give WA growers the opportunity to learn about the discharge, storage and processing of their grain.

This year’s trip coincided with the opening of Interflour’s new $92 million Intermalt grain processing facility and featured visits to flour mills, feed mills, breweries, markets and ports.

CBH marketing and trading general manager Jason Craig helped to navigate dozens of growers through Ho Chi Minh City for the six-day trip.

“This year we increased the number of participants on the study tour quite significantly in order to give more growers a first-hand look at the opening of the Intermalt facility,” Mr Craig said.

“We felt that this opening in particular was a really valuable experience for growers to learn more about CBH’s investments.

“The tour was a great success, with positive feedback coming from those who attended and even those at home witnessing the participants’ travels via social media.

“I think growers really value the opportunity to see for themselves exactly where the grain they are growing ends up and what products it is being made into.”

Farmers from Perenjori to Ravensthorpe dined with Interflour representatives, took a tour of Intermalt and Cai Mep Port, and met Australian Consul-General Karen Lanyon.

Nyabing grower Alyce Caldwell and Narembeen grower Brendan Hickey explore the streets of Vietnam.
Camera IconNyabing grower Alyce Caldwell and Narembeen grower Brendan Hickey explore the streets of Vietnam. Credit: Cally Dupe

A visit to ABC Bakery, one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular chain eateries, was popular with the group, who taste-tested products made from WA wheat.

The group also visited Heineken Brewery to taste beer recently made with Australian malting barley purchased from the Intermalt facility by Heineken.

Vietnam, where Heineken also sells Tiger and Larue beer, is a global hotspot for the beer-drinking industry, with each resident consuming an estimated 36 litres a year.

It is the largest beer market in South-East Asia and the third-largest beer market in Asia, behind China and Japan.

The last day of the tour was set aside for sightseeing after a busy few days. Participants were required to pay for their return flights but the bulk of the bill, including accommodation and most of the food, was covered by CBH.

Mr Craig said details for next year’s trip, including the location and whether the high number of growers would be sustained, were being decided.

“We haven’t made any firm plans for next year just yet,” he said. “We will be sure to let growers know as soon as we have any news to share on potential plans for a 2018 grower study tour.”

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