Mistley: Malt plays ‘crucial role’ in UK economy says leading maltster

Euan Macpherson, outgoing chairman of the Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain (MAGB) and managin

Euan Macpherson, outgoing chairman of the Maltsters Association of Great Britain (MAGB) and managing director of the Crisp Malting Group, based in Mistley and Great Ryburgh, raises a glass to Britain's two national drinks at the MAGB AGM, Armourers Hall, London - Credit: Archant

Malt plays a crucial role in the UK economy, a leading maltster said as he prepared to step down as chair of a sector lobby group.

Euan Macpherson, outgoing chairman of the Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain (MAGB) and managing director of the Crisp Malting Group, based in Mistley and Great Ryburgh pointed to the malting industry as an example of UK manufacturing success

Mr Macpherson told members of MAGB gathered for its annual general meeting earlier this month at the Armourers Hall in London that with Scotch whisky making up a quarter of all British food and drink exports, and beer being made a a very large scale, malt, which is made from barley, was an unrecognised but key driver for the economy.

“Malt is used in the production of beer and whisky, Britain’s two national drinks and yet very few people can actually tell you what malt is and the products you find it in,” he said.

“During my tenure as chairman of the MAGB, I have made it my mission to raise awareness of malt, and its importance to the local and national economy, amongst parliamentarians and other key influencers.”

He pointed out that the country’s maltsters produce 1.6 million tonnes of malt a year.

“Billions of pints of beer and more than 500 million bottles of malt whisky are produced in this country. Scotch whisky makes up 25% of all British food and drink exports and contributes £135 per second to the UK balance of trade,” he said.

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“Malt, as the main ingredient, is key to this manufacturing and trading activity.

“The malting industry underpins so many other industries – from farming, to food and drink manufacturing through to the retailers selling to the consumer. There is some way to go yet in spreading the message about malt, but we have made a great start.

“British Maltsters work very hard to produce some of the best malt, if not the best malt, in the world. Who wouldn’t want to shout about that?”