Responsible Sourcing Case Study:
Sustainable Barley Sourcing in the UK
Molson Coors (UK & Ireland) uses 150,000 tonnes of British barley each year, so even before quality is taken into account, we have our work cut out to ensure sufficient supply. In 2008, Molson Coors in partnership with our major grain merchant, Frontier Agriculture, and facilitated by the European Food and Farming Partnership (EFFP) – set up the Molson Coors Growers Group (MCGG), dedicated to ensuring a regular and guaranteed supply of top-quality barley. The 157 members of the group now supply more than 47,000 tonnes of barley for Molson Coors.
The group’s purpose is to:
- Secure a sustainable supply of high quality British malting barley from local and important barley growing regions of the UK;
- Provide value to Molson Coors and the farmers; and
- Implement best practice and innovation in the supply chain.
The group is led by a steering group made up of regional growers and representatives from each of the parent groups. The steering group ensures that each party is fairly represented in terms of inputs and outputs from the activities; commercial, quality, supply terms and personal goals.
We focus upon and develop the following areas to meet both the growers’ and Molson Coors’ long term sustainability strategy:
- Biodiversity & Ecosystems: Established the LEAF Simply Sustainable Water booklet.
- Resource Efficiency: In the AGM each year we encourage best practice sharing groups, roundtable discussions, set up long term communication links, and encourage trials and site visits.
- Sociability: We have raised over £6000 for the Princes Countryside Fund and arrange regional seasonal meeting to maintain the link to each other and back to Molson Coors.
- Education & Awareness: Invited customers and key industry spokespeople to the annual AGM to share views about current and future industry trends and topics. Site visits include brewing tours, farms visits and crop trials.
Annually, a Molson Coors Grower of the Year is awarded to the grower who has delivered the most towards the group in terms of commitment to contract, quality, and engagement with the group and meeting.
The members are at the forefront of the negotiating process, and the group is all about implementing best practice. We have had talks and farm visits on best practice, barley agronomy and grain storage through to grain marketing. It also gives the growers a chance to tell us what is important to them, and us the chance to respond. We are discussing matters such as ecosystems and biodiversity, resource efficiency, the media perception of the farming industry, and the health of the farming sector as a whole.
- Jerry Dyson, Molson Coors Brewing Materials Sourcing Manager
100% British Barley – Assured!
Carling, the UK’s best-selling lager, and Worthington’s Ale have both received Red Tractor certification for their malting barley. The Red Tractor mark appears on all appropriate Carling and Worthington’s packaging.
Red Tractor was established in 2000 and has grown to become the UK’s biggest farm and food standards scheme, covering all of animal welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental protection.
The Red Tractor mark now appears on over £12 billion worth of fresh food and drink in the UK and is an independent verification that the product has been made to high quality standards from farm to shelf.