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Sunday 22 July 2018

Our farmers want price of Guinness cut by 10c in barley row

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

Claire Fox

Farmers are calling on the makers of Guinness to reduce the price of a pint by 10c in an effort to highlight the poor prices they get for malting barley.

Around 100 farmers from the Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) protested outside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin at the price they get for malting barley, which is a key ingredient in Guinness.

Farmers said that in 1976 the price of a pint was 48c compared to at least €4.30 today.

They received €175 per tonne for malting barley in 1976, compared with €155 per tonne today.

Chair of the IGGG Bobby Miller said: "We're getting less this year than we were 40 years ago. It's not sustainable for farmers."

He warned that Guinness is facing a situation of having to import malting barley if it does not support Irish farmers.

“We’re very proud to be apart of the long tradition of Guinness, but farmers are going out of business. People are walking away from tillage. There’s a third of the land under tillage as there was 70 years ago. They have to realise that something has to change.”

Farmers at the protest claimed that they were “producing a first class product for a third world price” and warned that they may have to opt out of the sector if returns don’t improve.

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"It has no role whatsoever in negotiations regarding the price of malting barley-these are a matter for growers and malting companies. Diageo has always been supportive of Irish farmers and farming in Ireland and will continue to be .”

A spokesperson for Diageo said that it had no role in "negotiations regarding the price of malting barley".


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