On the 27th April 2016, Muntons officially opened their new vacuum band drying plant in Thailand. Although Muntons has sales and representative offices in a number of overseas markets this is the Suffolk based company’s first step into manufacturing outside the UK.
The new state-of-the-art band drying facility is a US $17.5 million joint venture undertaken in conjunction with Muntons South East Asian partner Jebsen and Jessen Ingredients, who have an extensive distribution network stretching across the region.
In keeping with Thai tradition, the grand opening ceremony received the blessing of nine Buddhist monks as they performed the ‘Taboon Khun Wan Mai.’ The number nine is considered to be a lucky number in Thailand. As is customary the assembled, specially invited VIP’s and guests completed the ritual by handing food and water to the monks.
Trees were planted as part of the ordination ritual, designed to raise awareness about the value of nature and inspire people to take part in conservation efforts. The trees were blessed to signify their sacred status and form part of a larger effort to foster a conservation ethic.
The first shipment of malt extract made at Muntons plant in Stowmarket has already been shipped to the new factory in Thailand, which will be undergo final commissioning over the next few months. Once in full production it is anticipated that 3,000 tonnes of malt extract will be shipped every year from Muntons plant in Stowmarket, increasing their demand for quality East Anglian malting barley by nearly 5,000 tonnes.
The grand opening ceremony was topped off with a tour of the new facility, a gala dinner, entertaining Karaoke and finally a spectacular fireworks display on the beach. Neil Pearmain, Muntons Ingredients Sales and Marketing Director commented: “This is an auspicious occasion for both Muntons, and our South East Asian distribution partners Jebsen and Jessen, and it is only fitting that it should be marked in such a splendid way.” He continued: “Our venture into the manufacture of premium malted ingredients in Asia will bring benefits to the local community and to our business back in the UK and sits firmly with our vision to bring the great taste and benefits of malt to the people of the world.”