6 UNLOADING MALT IN PEDAYENA Netherlands South America Netherlands Scotland In earlier days men with shovels had to empty the lorries. That used to take about three hours. Never sure The price Honesty Marc Janssens works at the Albert Malting Plant in Ruisbroek(Belgium). He is responsible for buying in the barley which has to be processed into malt there. 450,000 kilograms per day are needed to keep our two malting plants in operationThat's equivalent to one year's harvest from about 1 square kilometre of land. This means that in one year's time he needs the entire barley harvest from an area of 300 square kilometres. How do you set about buying in such a mind- boggling quantity as 140 million kilograms? Not such an easy task. Especially as Heineken wants to have the best quality of brewtng barley and there's not a very great deal of that available in Europe. As a rule,the malt needed in our breweries is supplied in road tankers.Unloading these creates no problems,as a hose is simply coupled to the back of the tank. As the tank gets emptier it is tilted higher. If semi-trailers are used, the loading platform cannot be raised at the point behind the cab like on ordinary trucks. In Pedavena (Italy) the system used involves tilting the entire semi-trailer to one side. Within the space of a few minutes the malt then tips out of the side of the trailer and on to a grill. From there the malt is transported through a tube straight into the silos. IN BRIEF One of the warehouses of our brewery in 's-Hertogenbosch in Holland was devastated by a big fire around the start of the new year. The damage amounts to some 6 million Irish Production went on as usual, however, as the fire was confined to a workshop and a storage area. Heineken has acquired a 15% interest in the South American brewery group Quilmes. This group owns six breweries, three malting plants and a soft drinks production plant in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. In 1983 the group sold about 4 million hectolitres of beer. Heineken paid around IR. 10 million for this 15% stake. We will also be providing the group with technical assistance. In one year's time Heineken Nederland has filled one billion bottles destined exclusively for export from Holland. No mean feat indeed! Tomatin is a business in Scotland that specialises in the production of whisky. A few years ago Heineken acquired an interest of around 25% in this firm. Shortly after that the world whisky market collapsed. And it's not expected to pick up in the near future either. Meanwhile, Tomatin has found itself in deep trouble. The Tomatin board has therefore been forced to put the firm into voluntary liquidation. How unfortunate that things cannot always go so well in business and that such a fine company should come out on the losing end. "Prices on the grain market are always fluctuating," Marc told us, "but there's no other type of grain with such fast- changing prices as brewing barley. That means you can earn a lot of money, and also that you can lose a lot. Especially if you always want to get the best quality. Then you're obliged to buy in well in advance. From merchants and cooperatives. Never straight from a farmer, because there are hardly any farmers who grow such quantities." Marc Janssens does not look upon himself as a buyer, because he does not order from the man offering the best quality at the lowest price. He's what's known in his line of work as a 'trader'. Since he has to do his buying well in advance to prevent the Albert Malting Plant from finding itself without barley, he has to get through a tremendous amount of work. And he has to have a very good nose for business. Often he Purchases have to be checked for quality. Marc Janssens in the laboratory with barley samples he's bought. Denmark, Scotland, England, Holland and occasionally Germany. There he judges whether it will be a good barley year or a bad oneWith the aid of these figures and some other data, he is able to conclude contracts for the delivery of so much barley of a certain quality at a certain price in so many months' time. But it's the price that causes the difficulties. He has to have the price in his headHe has to be able to negotiate on itHe can earn a great deal of money on the price but he can lose out on it as well. Everything depends on how high the price is on the market when the barley that he ordered months ago is actually delivered. On this tightrope the slightest mistake could prove very costly. So Marc tries to eliminate this risk by knowing all there is to know about supply and operate. Sometimes instantly. By telephoneWithin a few minutes he has to come to a decision on the price and the quantity. Once he's said 'yes' he can never go back on his word. "In the grain trade there's one golden rule: a man's word is his bond", explains Marc Janssens. "Once I've said a price, I can't ring back two minutes later to change it, for instance because I forgot to make allowance for the transport costs." A difficult job. But he has it in his fingertips. That's one of the reasons why he was elected as the youngest- ever deputy chairman of the Chamber of Arbitration in Antwerp. That's the body which deals with disputes in the grain trade. Marc Janssens has one big advantage where his work is concernedhe simply radiates honesty. has to draw up figures showing how much barley all the malting plants will need in the coming year and compare these with the number of acres of land that have been sowed with brewing barley. From these figures he can see whether there will be a shortage or a surplus of barley. He also has to have an accurate knowledge of what the quality will be like. That's why he goes and visits the barley fields in Ireland, demand and having business relations he can trust. If Marc Janssens wants to do his work properly and to minimise the risks, he must constantly gather information about the state of affairs on the market. Many times a day. He knows that he can never get all the figures to enable him to take an absolutely safe decision. But he has to buy anyway, long in advance to be sure that the malting plant can continue to Looking at Marc Janssens, you don't get the feeling that he's weighed down by the worries of all this responsibility. He's 33 years old and a typical native of Antwerp, and those are people who generally have a very good idea of how to enjoy life. Marc Janssens seems to excel at that. But there's always a hint of earnestness showing through in his character. We're almost sure that he thinks that life's greatbut that he never forgets that it does have its serious aspects. That's a good attitude for the job that he does, as that job is a difficult one. Obviously, he also maintains contact with the buying department of Heineken Technical Services to exchange information about barley and malt prices and about the market situation. Marc Janssens, barley buyer for our Albert Malting Plant in Belgium. Behind him: the map showing barley-growing areas in Europe. ort tl (ObertiasseD Posttaeh 110 \fossen Inks 9 Tel; (211)

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Heineken International Magazine | 1985 | | pagina 6