Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Malting barley growers to step up their campaign for better prices

Malting barley farmer protest recently at the price they are receiving for their crop.
Malting barley farmer protest recently at the price they are receiving for their crop.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Malting Barley Growers Association are to step up their campaign to highlight the current challenges facing their sector and indeed the tillage sector as a whole.

They are set to protest tomorrow outside the Guinness as St. James’s Gate this Tuesday at noon.

It says the move is due to receiving no reply from our correspondence to Boortmalt and its farmer-owned parent company Axereal.

Indeed, the group says they were thoroughly dismayed with the Diageo/Guinness response to the situation.

“They effectively washed their hands of the current crisis by saying that they have no direct dealings with farmers and they carry out their purchasing of malted barley with Boortmalt.

“They even said that they did not set the price of the pint in the pubs when we suggested that the price of the pint should drop by at least 10 cent due to the poor price of malting barley.

“We are sure many publicans would have an opinion on that. We are repeating our call to have the price of the pint dropped by at least 10 cent for customers,” it said in a statement.

The Irish Grain Growers Group went on to say that Diageo in its view effectively sets the price for malting barley as they buy most of the malt from Boortmalt.

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“They have huge buying power in the relationship and are profiting on the back of growers. Indeed, the forward selling part of the current pricing model with Boortmalt applies to barley destined for Diageo.

“ As this share of contracted barley was 7opc in 2017, it is clear that Diageo’s claim that it has no role whatsoever in negotiations regarding the price of malting barley is disingenuous at best,” it said.

The Group said it would be a national scandal that the raw materials would have to be imported.

It said this is the reality that Diageo/Guinness are facing.

“They must realise that it is not 1759 in terms of time but high noon for malting barley growers. The relationship and history between traditional Irish malting barley growers and Guinness would be lost, a key marketing tool used by Diageo at present in the Guinness Storehouse and in advertising campaigns. The damage to brand Ireland would be incalculable.

“We are heading to the Guinness storehouse the biggest tourist destination in Ireland where we Irish farmers are used as part of the story of Guinness. We will be handing in letters to be given to Guinness/Diageo staff,” it said.


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