AGRICULTURE minister David Littleproud has been in Vietnam, promoting trade between Australia and the South East Asian country.
While there, Mr Littleproud toured the Interflour and Intermalt factories in Ho Chi Minh City. The factories use Australian wheat and barley to make Bánh mì, instant noodles and malt for beer.
Minister Littleproud said: “Watching Aussie wheat go into making staples of the Vietnamese diet – Bánh mì and instant noodles – helping to provide food security was a great experience”.
“Interflour’s mills have a total milling capacity of approximately 1.5m tonnes per year, making it one of the largest flour millers in Asia and 76% of its wheat is sourced from Australia.”
Mr Littleproud said the West Australian Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) group had invested more than $100m in a 50% share of the Interflour Group and represents Australia’s largest agricultural investment in Vietnam.”
Mr Littleproud said InterMalt began operations in 2017 and it plans to source the majority of its barley from South and Western Australia.
“The Vietnamese, like Australians, share a love of beer,” Mr Littleproud said.
“It is estimated that per-capita consumption is now over 40 litres and growing, making Vietnam the biggest beer consumer in Southeast Asia.
“The potential for growth of wheat and barley exports to Vietnam is exciting, following the signing of the TPP-11, which will deliver significant trade benefits for both Australia and Vietnam.”
Vietnam is Australia’s third-largest wheat market, worth $567m in 2016-17, and it is also a significant market for barley, with $114m of the grain exported, according to Mr Littleproud.
“Vietnam is a rapidly developing economy, with a rapidly growing consumer base, and Australian farmers have been delivering the goods and have built a solid reputation for quality in Vietnam,” the minister said.
“Our two countries share a wonderful bond, built on a 40 year agriculture relationship and celebrating 45 years of diplomatic relations in 2018.