Muntons, the Stowmarket, Suffolk-based manufacturer of malt and malted ingredients, has agreed a three year contract to source supplies of sustainable winter barley varieties.
The chain draws on crops from members of Norfolk grain storage co-operatives Aylsham Grain and Yare Grain, marketed by Dewing Grain. The contract aims to guarantee a supply of good quality winter malting barley with a known carbon footprint value.
Melissa Abbott, Muntons’ grain value chain specialist, says the company is concerned at the decline in the area of winter malting barley varieties over recent years as growers opt for feed varieties and spring barleys. Only 15% of barley bought nationally by maltsters is currently winter varieties, she points out. The longer term contract initiative will encourage farmers to grow winter barleys.
As part of the contract terms, growers will be required to complete a carbon calculator – as well as enabling Muntons to offer a clear carbon profile for its customers, this will help farmers identify ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
“Linking winter malting barley contracts to the completion of a carbon calculator is a real first, which will not only help the farmer but will have a positive effect on the environment and greatly assist in ensuring a sustainable future for this important crop,” states Ms Abbott. “In addition, local sourcing means that food miles are kept to a minimum – another benefit for the environment.”
Oliver Hitchcock, malting barley trader at Dewing Grain, comments: “Members will be able to clear the grain at harvest into their central stores. They will receive added value that reflects a split pricing mechanism and also the carbon monitoring element. We are pleased to be working with Muntons on this sustainable initiative, meeting the increasing needs of its customers.”