Simpsons Malt has shown its commitment to sustainability by assisting its farming partners who currently grow malting barley on contract to become accredited to the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform’s renowned Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA).

Simpsons farmer Guy Moor
One of the audited growers, Guy Moor (right), of Nesbit Farm, near Wooler, Northumberland, with his MSP farm rep Tom Robertson (left) and MSP technical officer and FSA farm management group co-ordinator Ben Gothorp

A total of 422 farming partners across Scotland and northern England achieved gold performance level through the FSA, which is a highly effective, multi-purpose tool that helps farmers and food and drink companies around the world produce, sell, and source more sustainably grown agricultural products, audited through one industry-wide assessment.

There are three tiers of FSA accreditation: bronze, silver and gold. By achieving the highest performance level of FSA gold, it means that these farming partners are able to demonstrate they use first class sustainable farming practices. It also provides them with secure market access as it allows them to do business with companies that are interested in sustainable sourcing.

For Simpsons Malt, which has its own agricultural merchanting division — McCreath Simpson & Prentice — it is certification that the fifth generation family business is sourcing 100% sustainable barley from their contracted growers for the production of its quality malts, grown with the best sustainable practices on a global scale.

This extensive group of contracted growers are also now part of what is the only FSA gold verified farm management group for barley in the UK.

Andy Hindhaugh, commercial director at Simpsons Malt, said: “As a business, of which our agricultural merchanting division is a significant part, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and crop production is incredibly important to us.

Achieving sustainability objectives

“We’d like to acknowledge the efforts and co-operation of all our malting barley growers towards the FSA, the result of which will provide many benefits for them, including their alignment with a global industry benchmark for on-farm sustainability and continuous improvement.

“As for us, with our malting division continuing to grow overseas, it is important that our certifications are recognised on a global level and FSA gold does just that. It also shows our end user customers in the brewing, distilling, and food industries that they are receiving 100% sustainable barley from our contracted growers, which is becoming ever more important to many of them as part of their own sustainability objectives.

“With our recently completed acquisition of W N Lindsay Ltd, we will be taking the opportunity to get many of our new contracted growers of malting barley and wheat up to FSA gold standard as well.”

Malting barley grower Guy Moor, whose farm near the town of Wooler, Northumberland, was fully audited as part of the FSA assessment process, said: “All farmers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to adopt more sustainable practices, so when my McCreath Simpson & Prentice rep told me that the company planned to get all of its malting barley growers FSA accredited, I was fully supportive and willing to do what was required on my farm to attain it.

“I learned a lot during the intensive audit and, now that my FSA gold status has been confirmed, I’d like to thank the McCreath Simpson & Prentice team for their assistance throughout the process and I’m excited about what opportunities this globally recognised accreditation may bring from a market point of view moving forward.”


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