Simpsons Malt Ltd has announced a long-term agreement with Yara UK and Varda, aimed at dramatically reducing the carbon footprint in malting barley and distilling wheat production with the use of fossil free green fertilisers, data-based precision farming and Global Field ID.
The collaboration details how the companies will work together to help Simpsons Malt achieve its ambitious carbon neutral objectives to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of leading global beer and whisky brands.
One of the largest independent, family-owned malting companies in the world, Simpsons Malt has set its sights on achieving carbon neutral malting barley and distilling wheat production by 2030.
“We are delighted to be entering this collaboration”, said Andy Hindhaugh, Commercial Director of Simpsons Malt Ltd. “As a Certified B Corporation, we are committed to minimising the environmental impact not only of our own operations, but throughout our wider supply chain.
“This exciting partnership gives us the opportunity to do exactly that, while also helping our brewing and distilling customers deliver on their own sustainability objectives.”
In recent years, there’s been a demand for greater transparency and decarbonisation of farming practices as well as a growing awareness of the environmental impact of farming activities on the environment.
In response, growers of crops like malting barley and distilling wheat have begun to look at ways they can improve nutrient use efficiency (NUE) and reduce their carbon footprint. The Yara, Simpsons Malt, and Varda collaboration will help them do just that.
One of the main sources of carbon in agriculture is fertiliser production because it’s so energy intensive. This is where Yara’s green fertilisers play a big role. Yara estimates that for wheat crops alone, green fertilisers can reduce the carbon footprint of around 20%. Combined with other agronomy innovations and best practices, the reductions become even higher.
Yara has led the industry through extensive investment into abatement technology used in the production process and today already delivers lower carbon fertilisers. The introduction of green fertilisers will remove the use of fossil energy from fertiliser production and further lower the carbon footprint.
“Through our green fertilisers, digital tools, and research led agronomic advice, growers can improve nutrient use efficiency and actively contribute to the reduction of their CO2 footprint,” said Jari Pentinmäki, Managing Director of Yara UK.
“We are excited to be collaborating with Simpsons Malt and Varda, as we all look towards a nature positive food future.”
The ag-tech start-up, Varda, helps growers take that one step further with its geospatial technology that enables the integration of field level data. Its Global Field ID is an API-based system that assigns a Unique ID number to every agricultural field/land plot, reducing data fragmentation in the ag-food supply chain and supporting data sharing.
Improving the granularity of data and enabling better integration between digital farming tools will save valuable time across all operations and allow growers to improve crop production management. Having access to this data in real time means growers can use precision agriculture to increase NUE, for example.
“Agriculture is uniquely positioned to positively contribute to the climate crisis by reducing its carbon footprint and improving its productivity. We are proud to play our part in helping pioneering organisations such as Simpsons Malt in establishing a more transparent and collaborative food supply chain by organising and combining fragmented field data,’’ says Davide Ceper, CEO of Varda.
Giving crops the right nutrients in the right amounts and at the right time means healthier soils, better crop yields, and more efficient use of fertiliser. This all adds up to more sustainable farming and less carbon in the atmosphere.
The way to a nature positive food future is collaboration, and this partnership is only the beginning of the journey. This exciting collaboration will bring both immediate results and longer term benefits on the path towards achieving carbon neutrality within the food and drink sector.