Co-ops say impact of Covid-19 on breweries and distilleries won't affect their malting barley contracts

Co-ops say impact of Covid-19 on breweries and distilleries won't affect their malting barley contracts
Liam O'Flaherty, head of Agribusiness, at Dairygold

Liam O'Flaherty, head of Agribusiness, Dairygold.Co-op says it is committed to purchasing all the contracted 2020 harvest tonnage of malting barley from its growers, despite concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on breweries and distilleries.

Liam O’Flaherty, head of Dairygold agri business, said: “The restrictions currently in place have led to the closure of bars and restaurants and this has adversely impacted the demand from the brewing and distilling industries.

“However, Dairygold recognises that our growers have already planted crops, and we want to give them certainty and security in this challenging time.

“From a co-operative perspective, it was important that we could guarantee our contracted malting barley tonnage for growers.”

Dairygold is one of Ireland’s largest purchasers of Irish grain, assembling over 110,000 tonnes on average each year, and is a significant user of Irish grain in its range of compound feeds.

Dairygold’s malting barley growers supply the Malting Company of Ireland, a joint venture company with Glanbia.

Glanbia Ireland (GI), the largest buyer and user of Irish grains, has also committed to purchasing all contracted tonnes of malting barley that meet the required specification from their growers in 2020.

The commitment comes as GI undertakes a grain planning census of its growers, to provide key information and insights for a longer-term business strategy.

GI will also shortly circulate a Grain Purchasing Policy to all its growers.

IFA Grain Committee Chairman Mark Browne welcomed buyers’ malting barley commitments.

“All stakeholders in the Irish drinks industry must recognise the ongoing effort and commitment which growers have put into producing quality malting barley. This has seen an expansion in the area sown,” he said.

He said buyers must deliver sustainable prices for growers.

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