Makers of Budweiser take on more Essex farmers to grow their barley

Barley being combined.

Barley being combined. - Credit:

The makers of Budweiser are set to double the number of farmers growing their barley, including a “significant” number from Essex.

The farmers involved in growing barley for Budweiser beer came together this week for Budweiser’s an

The farmers involved in growing barley for Budweiser beer came together this week for Budweisers annual Growers Day at Huntingdon Racecourse. - Credit: Archant

Global brewer AB InBev announced yesterday that by 2017 it wants all of the Budweiser brewed at its Magor Brewery in South Wales to use UK-sourced barley.

Last year, the company launched its first UK growing programme which saw more than 30 British farms commit to growing the crop for Budweiser, becoming part of AB InBev’s global Smart Barley initiative, a benchmarking tool that enables growers to measure their barley production against productivity and environmental performance indicators.

The farmers work in partnership with Crisp Malting Group, Glencore Grain and Agrii to produce malting barley which meets Budweiser’s quality standards while optimising productivity and reducing their environmental footprint.

As the 2016 planting season approaches, 82 farms have committed to growing their barley for the brewer in 2016.

The farmers involved came together yesterday for Budweiser’s annual Growers’ Day at Huntingdon Racecourse.

Ties Soeters, director for Malt Barley Europe at AB InBev said: “It’s fantastic to see our stable of UK growers expanding at such a rate and it is a clear demonstration of the success of the Smart Barley programme in helping farmers to get the best out of their resources.

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“We’re incredibly proud of the quality of the ingredients that make Budweiser and are thrilled that so many new farmers are buying into the great tradition and heritage that goes into brewing our beer. As the programme goes from strength-to-strength, it’s exciting to see the potential for our UK-brewed Budweiser to use barley entirely sourced in Britain.”

One of the Essex growers involved, Edward Hitchcock from Curles Manor Farm, Clavering, near Bishop’s Stortford, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Budweiser and really excited to be part of their programme which is so supportive of British barley production.

“It’s great to see such a commitment to the UK industry from the world’s leading brewer and l’m looking forward to working with the global network of farmers in the Smart Barley programme. I’m personally a big fan of their beer, so it’s going to be hugely rewarding to see our barley used in their product and enjoyed by so many people.”