Farm Ireland

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Boortmalt to extend malting capacity in Athy

Boortmalt Ireland - Athy site.
Boortmalt Ireland - Athy site.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Boortmalt has decided to extend its malting capacity in Athy by 30k MT in order to continue providing its Irish brewing and distilling customers with a 100pc Irish supply chain, from seed to malting barley.

The planning process is currently underway and should be completed by June 2018. Commercial negotiations are currently ongoing and the successful principal contractor is due to be appointed before end December 2017.

New steeping, germination and kilning vessels as well as additional malt outloading facilities will therefore be constructed and operational by June 2019.

“With our Irish growers partners we have since 2010 further developed the Boortmalt local malting barley supply chain for the exclusive use of our Irish customers. The Boortmalt Irish malting barley supply chain is sustainable (Origin Green and SAI silver certified) and can be further expanded now that we decided to add 30kt of malting capacity in Athy to service the growing brewing and distilling markets in Ireland” says Yvan Schaepman, Boortmalt Group CEO.

After its ongoing investments in Ethiopia, it says this new malting plant extension in Ireland is fully in line with Boortmalt’s strategy to support its customers worldwide by developing local malt production.

It comes as farmers have warned Guinness may be made solely from imported malt in the future unless stronger prices are delivered to support the struggling tillage sector.

Over 100 cereal and malting barley growers recently gathered outside the Boortmalt headquarters in Athy to highlight the poor returns received for a key ingredient in a pint of the black stuff.

Farmers whose families have been growing malting barley for up to six generations warned it was no longer viable for them to continue producing it at current prices.

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Bobby Miller from the Irish Grain Growers’ (IGG) group called for a minimum of €200/t for malting barley for brewing and €220-230/t for distilling grade malting barley as it is produced to higher specifications.

Farmers gathered at the protest stated the average harvest base price they received was around €155/t as they stated they could not sign up for the higher future price as they could not guarantee delivery with the tight specifications.

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