Stowmarket-based Muntons celebrates launch of first overseas production site in Thailand
- Credit: Archant
A Stowmarket-based malt firm is celebrating the international expansion of its business with the opening of a new plant in Thailand.
The 17.5million US dollar (£12m) vacuum band drying facility is a 50/50 joint venture between EADT/EDP Top 100 firm Muntons and south east Asia ingredients distribution firm Jebsen & Jessen.
The new venture will involve liquid malt extract made at Stowmarket being shipped to the plant at Chonburi, about 120km south-east of Bangkok, to be processed into products for south-east Asia’s large and growing malted drinks market.
Although Muntons has sales and representative offices in a number of overseas markets, the new plant marks the company’s first step into manufacturing outside the UK.
The first shipment of malt extract from Muntons’ plant in Stowmarket has already arrived at the factory in Thailand, which will undergo final commissioning over the next few months. Once in full production, around 3,000 tonnes of malt extract will be shipped every year from Muntons in Stowmarket, increasing demand for East Anglian malting barley by nearly 5,000 tonnes.
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In keeping with Thai tradition, the grand opening ceremony received the blessing of Buddhist monks. The opening ceremony was followed by tour of the new facility, a gala dinner, a Karaoke session and a fireworks display.
Muntons Ingredients sales and marketing director Neil Pearmain said: “This is an auspicious occasion for both Muntons and our south east Asian distribution partners Jebsen and Jessen, and it is only fitting that it should be marked in such a splendid way.
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“Our venture into the manufacture of premium malted ingredients in Asia will bring benefits to the local community and to our business back in the UK.”