Irleand: Diageo denies role in barley price negotiations

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), a national organization to represent the interests of all sectors of farming in Ireland founded in 1955, has fixed a new malting barley package for next year with international malting group Boortmalt, the leading Irish malting company.

The agreement provides, inter alia, for an initial fixed price offer of €167.50/t (exclusive of VAT) for contract green brewing malting barley and a much-reduced seed price of €520/t (delivered) for all varieties.

Farmers had the option of fixing up to 15% of the price for their malting barley contract this week. The fixed price offer is made a number of times during the year and lasts only for 24 hours. In April 2017 Boortmalt and IFA stroke a two-year malting barley deal for the years 2017 and 2018 with the opportunity to participate in price hedging several times a year.

IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy was content with the deal and said that it was “critically important to get a price out ahead of the planting season so that growers can plan their cropping programme accordingly.”

The Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG), a newly formed group, representing arable farmers in the Midlands, South East and South of Ireland, asks for a much higher malting barley price. The group claims that malting barley growers cannot meet their costs and will go out of business unless they can attain a price of €200 per ton. The IGGGG already staged several demonstrations, the last being held outside Guinness’ St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin. (, 30.11.2017)

In response to the protest Diageo, maker of the famous Irish Guinness beer, released a statement saying that it “does not buy grain from growers, but purchases finished malt from malting companies.” The statement went on that Diageo “has no role whatsoever in negotiations regarding the price of malting barley. This is a matter for growers and malting companies. Nor does Diageo set the price of a pint in pubs.”

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