East Anglia: Adnams agrees deal with Holkham estate to secure malting barley supply

Oliver Scott, crop production manager for the Holkham Farming Company, David Green, barley procureme

Oliver Scott, crop production manager for the Holkham Farming Company, David Green, barley procurement manager at Boortmalt, Poul Hovesen, director of farming for the Holkham Farming Company, Sarah Brown, commercial manager at Boortmalt, and Fergus Fitzgerald, head brewer at Adnams. - Credit: Archant

Southwold-based Adnams has agreed a deal with the Holkham Estate in Norfolk securing the supply of around half of its malt requirements for brewing and distilling over the next three years.

It is part of an approach to sustainable supply chain integration which is being driven by Boortmalt, whose Bury St Edmunds maltings has a long-standing relationship with Adnams.

David Green, barley procurement manager at Boortmalt, said: “Sourcing local barley to the right specification is becoming increasingly challenging due to a number of market and agronomic factors. Working closely with growers through this type of agreement safeguards future supply.”

Boortmalt approached Dewing Grain with a view to putting the agreement in place with a local East Anglian grower.

It believes that building long-term partnerships with growers will become fundamental to providing them with an incentive to continue to grow quality crops of the required variety and specification.


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Sarah Brown, commercial manager at Boortmalt, added “Holkham Estate operates an efficient and very productive farming business, heavily focused on good environmental practice and reducing its carbon footprint through continuous improvement of farming techniques.

“This provides an ideal platform for this agreement between farmer, maltster and brewer, with Adnams’ objectives heavily focused on sustainability.”

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Adnams already has a close relationship with Holkham, with one of its Cellar & Kitchen stores having been based on the estate for the past eight years.

Fergus Fitzgerald, head brewer at Southwold, said: “Recent food safety scares have highlighted the importance of working directly with suppliers. By placing longer term contracts with named growers, we can secure supply and ensure the quality of our barley.

“We prefer to build relationships with farms such as Holkham, as they have the knowledge and expertise to produce the specific varieties of barley that are required for Adnams’ beers and spirits, rather than growers that come in and out of the market depending on the price.”

Poul Hovesen, director of farming at Holkham, added: “It’s really gratifying to see a direct connection between us, the farmer, and the end-user, Adnams.

“The next time we see this barley will be in a pint of Adnams beer, or as nip of Adnams Copper House spirit.”

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