Frequently Asked Questions
SmartBarley is not only a technology platform for our growers, but also a reflection of AB InBev’s Dream through bringing growers together to create value for their farms and our supply chain, ensuring we can continue to procure high quality malt barley to produce the beers that our consumers love.
It starts with benchmarking. Growers participating in SmartBarley complete a review with our agronomist after harvest, capturing key barley production characteristics and practices for an individual field.
The information captured in the field review populates more than 40 production and environmental crop performance metrics, translating the grower’s field into an advanced metric dashboard.
Growers are provided a unique username and password to access their dashboard, where they can anonymously benchmark the performance of their field across other growers based on comparison criteria such as variety, irrigation and geography.
Gaps are then identified at the regional and individual level. Growers work with their AB InBev agronomist to identify and implement the best practices specific to their operations, facilitated through a portfolio of technology and management programs that close gaps and raise the benchmark further.
Any grower who contracted malt barley with AB InBev or a local affiliate within the current or previous season, and harvested the barley to specification, can participate.
The primary aim of SmartBarley is to provide a platform for exchanging malt barley best practices that help our growers improve their productivity, profitability and natural resource efficiency.
SmartBarley will also be used for the following:
- Through Bud Lab, an AB InBev research partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA, we are developing statistical models that correlate climate, soil, topography, quality and SmartBarley data, identifying the factors that drive malt barley productivity and quality. We will bring these insights back to our growers through the SmartBarley platform.
- We will leverage SmartBarley data to strengthen our global barley breeding activities, integrating insights from SmartBarley to help us deliver better performing varieties into the future.
- Providing improved knowledge on environmental and crop practice influences, SmartBarley will help us contract the right varieties in the right regions - enabling growers to maximize productivity and input use efficiency.
Malt barley growers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, Russia, the United States and Uruguay are currently participating in SmartBarley.
With a direct grower network of more than 25,000 growers, we plan to make SmartBarley available to new growers in more countries next year and beyond.
We are also working through strategic partnerships to actively incorporate malt barley growers outside of our direct contracting programs into SmartBarley, expanding the value of the program across our entire supply chain.
We have a global portfolio of agriculture development initiatives and SmartBarley will continue to play an important role in how we identify potential projects and measure the effectiveness of initiatives we support.
If you are a malt barley grower that currently contracts with AB InBev or one of our affiliates, and are interested in participating in SmartBarley, please contact your local AB InBev agronomist.
We believe SmartBarley can deliver value across the farm production system. As such we will continue to explore and test innovations that strengthen SmartBarley’s value to our growers. If you have a product or service that supports this aim, please email us at email@example.com.
One of AB InBev’s Global Environmental Goals is to improve water management and reduce water risks in 100 percent of our key barley growing regions by the end of 2017 in partnership with local stakeholders.
SmartBarley is playing an important role in helping us achieve this goal by identifying opportunities to improve water management and reduce water risks, driving the exchange of improved practices related to water use efficiency and water productivity, and measuring the efficacy of soil and irrigation management pilot initiatives.