Grain Growers’ group demands a seat at malting barley negotiations

The Irish Grain Growers’ group is demanding a seat at the negotiating table when it comes to settling malting barley contracts for 2017.

“We have asked Boortmalt to provide for this on a number of occasions,” said Association Chairman Bobby Miller.

“And we won’t take no for an answer. There is deep unease within our membership at the way the IFA has handled the negotiating process with Boortmalt over recent years.

We have 250 malting barley growers within our ranks. And they want their voices heard when it comes to settling the malting contracts for this season.

Miller said it was ridiculous that Bortmalt had made no effort, as yet, to agree contract terms with growers for 2017.

“Yet again, we are looking at a scenario where malting barley producers must commit to putting crops in the ground without any knowledge of the prices they will get next harvest. This is a totally unsatisfactory state of affairs.”

Miller said he was aware of the pressure coming from Diageo to get malt prices reduced.

Also Read: Diageo seeks €1m worth of cuts in malt prices

“This is totally unacceptable. Growers already know that they will be paying more for seed and fertiliser this year.

Prices for malting barley should be increasing. As a rule of thumb, producers should be getting a premium of between €90 to €100/t over feed grade barley.

The Grain Growers’ chairman confirmed that crops of malting barley will be sown out as soon as the weather improves.

“Malting barley growers take great pride in the crops they produce. This is why they are willing to commit without knowing what prices will be available at harvest. But they should never be left in this situation.”

Miller said that the Grain Growers’ group will host a meeting for members in the Mill Race Hotel, Bunclody on Thursday evening of this week.

“Speakers from the fertiliser sector will be in attendance. The event gets underway at 8:00pm,” he added.