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Tuesday 25 September 2018

Barley growers reject latest IFA/Boortmalt price offer

Bobby Miller, chairman of the Irish Grain Growers Group, makes his point at a previous protest at the Guinness Hop Store in Dublin. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Bobby Miller, chairman of the Irish Grain Growers Group, makes his point at a previous protest at the Guinness Hop Store in Dublin. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

The Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) has rejected the revised pricing structure for malting barley which was announced by the IFA and Boortmalt.

Bobby Miller of the IGGG said the current offer of €190/t for green barley would not be enough to secure grain supplies given the heightened demand this harvest.

The improved pricing structure announced by IFA and Boortmalt includes an additional €10/t on the MATIFDec18 price. At current MATIF levels this equates to €190/t for green barley. If the MATIFDec18 exceeds €190/t then the delivered green price to Boortmalt will track the increases.

However, the IGGG said the current price offer did not represent an adequate return for grain growers and failed to reflect recent grain market improvements.

"This is a move Boortmalt had to make to secure grain supplies and they haven't gone far enough," Mr Miller said. "Merchants are hunting for grain at the moment. European harvests have not been as good as forecast and there is a real possibility of prices shooting up," he added.

"By the spring harvest, Boortmalt could have to move the goalposts again to secure grain, which would make a complete laugh out of the contract situation," the IGGG representative commented.

Cut-off

The IGGG has called for farmers to be given the option to agree a price for grain on the day of delivery.

The growers' body also wants a change to specifications at delivery. It has called for the brewing protein cut-off level to be increased to 12pc, and the distilling protein cut-off level to be increased to 10.2pc.

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In addition, the IGGG says growers are dissatisfied that at least 30pc of the Boortmalt contracted grain must be delivered at distilling grade, and they want this requirement removed.

In light of the decision by Diageo to increase the price of Guinness by 4c a pint recently, the IGGG said a decent return for malting barley growers was long overdue."We believe the industry is well capable of paying a minimum of €240/t (exclusive of VAT) at 20pc moisture for brewing grade, and a minimum of €270/t for distilling grade malting barley," said Mr Miller.

"The Irish grain grower only gets the equivalent of 1pc of the retail price of a pint. The Government get 29pc, who gets the other 70pc? There is certainly room for manoeuvre," he commented.

A growers' meeting to discuss the Boortmalt contract was held in the Dolmen Hotel, Carlow last night.

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