AB InBev partners Benson Hill to improve barley varieties and sustainability

USA – The world’s largest brewer, AB InBev has formed a strategic partnership with an agricultural biotechnology company, Benson Hill to improve barley quality and sustainability.

The partnership will utilize Benson Hill Biosystems’ platform Breed, powered by CropOS to advance barley breeding.

According to AB InBev, the strategic collaboration positions it a position to provide farmers worldwide with more productive and sustainable barley varieties around the globe.

Benson Hill Biosystems utilizes natural genetic potential of plants through breeding, genome editing and trait targeting to produce crops that are resistant to heat, drought and extreme climatic conditions.

AB InBev will leverage on the firm’s capabilities in machine learning, big data analytics and biological knowledge in a bid to help farmers farm barley that is both productive and sustainable.

“For AB InBev, brewing quality beer starts with the best ingredients. That requires a healthy environment and thriving communities,” said Gary Hanning, Global Director of Barley Research at AB InBev.

“Benson Hill’s powerful Breed application positions us at the forefront of innovation to develop more resilient and sustainable varieties of barley for growers and the best quality malt for our brewers.”

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Working together with farmers is a critical pillar of AB InBev’s 2025 sustainability goals, with an aim to make 100% of their direct farmers skilled, connected and financially empowered.

Through SmartBarley program, AB InBev partners with growers around the world to produce high-quality malt barley, which is the primary ingredient in its world class beers.

The company is using the data collected via the initiative to build sustainability metrics and create predictive analytics to help growers make decisions that will impact yield, quality and resource use.

“AB InBev recognizes the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers,” said Matt Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill.

“The Benson Hill team is eager to apply the predictive power of CropOS to AB InBev’s SmartBarley program and rapidly advance its breeding efforts.”

CropOS allows researchers to quickly predict, select and control desirable traits, bypassing generations of experimentation to bring crop and ingredient improvements to market.

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