A partnership between Simpsons Malt Ltd. and BASF Agricultural Solutions which is aimed towards carbon neutral malting barley has been announced.

The carbon farming platform was developed by BASF to improve fact-based understanding of the trade-offs across farming systems and processes.

This collaboration aims to contribute towards carbon neutral malting barley and distilling wheat by 2030.

It also aims for BASF’s Carbon Farming Platform to report on progress of Scope 3 emissions reduction, which are emissions not produced by the company directly.

Partnership on malting barley

The joint project will enable growers to implement novel interventions to reduce emissions helping to futureproof their businesses and lower their environmental impact.

BASF’s role in the partnership is to record all on-farm crop management practices via its Carbon Farming Platform, to determine the impact different on-farm decisions would have on the carbon position of the final, harvested crop.

BASF will validate Simpsons Malt’s work by monitoring and reporting that reduction of value chain or Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been achieved, as part of the Gold Standard Value Change Programme.

Simpsons Malt is an independent, family-owned malting company and has the capacity to annually produce around 300,000t of malt and supply it to distillers and brewers across the globe.

Ben Gothorp, sustainability manager at Simpsons Malt, said: “The distilling sector has ambitious climate targets and, given the strength of their brands and the storytelling that underpins them, a more sustainable, decarbonised supply chain is important to achieve and for us to be a part of.”

He explained that the benefits will be felt across the whole supply chain.

According to Gothorp, “a distillery takes malt supplied by five farmers or 150 farmers, the combined total of greenhouse gas emissions and reduction, as well as the grain’s provenance, is fundamental to the integrity of the final product”.

“It’s all about helping farmers to build resilience in their business, more sustainable practices and to ensure that we can give full transparency to our customers.”

The business director for BASF Agricultural Solutions UK and Ireland, Joel Johnson added: “The drinks industry, especially whisky, is of huge importance to the UK.

“This partnership will demonstrate how beginning with growers, all partners are in dealing with the challenges of producing food and drink sustainably.

“Our agreement is different to many agri-food carbon-reduction programmes, because it combines BASF expertise and ‘know how’ as part of the Carbon Farming Platform to not only record on-farm practices, but crucially to provide Simpsons Malt’s growers with practical guidance on how their choices, say, method of cultivation or fertiliser programmes can change the farm’s carbon footprint.”

Senior vice-president for BASF Agricultural Solutions, EMEA, Gustavo Palerosi Carneiro explained that the partnership marks a pivotal moment in BASFs commitment to transforming global agriculture.

“Playing our part in supporting Simpsons Malt’s vision to create a more sustainable supply chain is something we are honoured and excited to be part of,” he said.

Simpsons Malt and BASF will be working with groups of Simpsons Malt’s growers over the coming winter and spring (2023/2024 season) to record how they can reduce Scope 3 emissions in distilling supply chains.