KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Locally produced cassava starch is now a key ingredient in the brew of Red Stripe Beer, as the company moves to reduce imported raw material for its production.
Consumers will soon be able to get their hands on this new mix, as the brewing company produced the first batch of beer using this local ingredient on June 18.
This followed the official commissioning into service of the brewery’s cassava starch factory, located at its Spanish Town Road headquarters in St. Andrew.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton and Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier were both on hand to oversee the process.
The factory represents an almost US$2 million investment under its Project Grow initiative, which will see an input of five per cent cassava starch, as a replacement for imported barley in the production of beer.
In his address, Kellier praised the company for its initiative to use locally grown raw material in its manufacturing process.
“This is real progress in the making and I wish to congratulate Red Stripe on having reached yet another milestone on this journey to brew beer with local cassava. With this commissioning, you will help Jamaica move closer to our stated goal of import substitution,” he said.
The Minister noted that the commissioning also shows that it is possible to grow and expand local agro-processing, and is also a demonstration that public-private sector collaboration is an important strategy for the successful implementation of economic projects.
He said the Agriculture Ministry is pleased to have partnered with Red Stripe from the inception of the initiative with the lease of the initial 36 acres at Bernard Lodge to facilitate the pilot cassava project.
The Minister further informed that a lease agreement was signed in March for an additional 250 acres of land for cassava cultivation.