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In Conversation With… – Malting Matters

Welcome to the first episode of In Conversation With… hosted this month by Principal Consultant Mark Bowsher-Gibbs. This show is produced in association with the Scottish Government. On today’s episode Mark is joined by Gary Catto (Head of Merchanting at Scotgrain Agriculture, part of Bairds Malt Ltd) and Robin Barron (General Manager at East of Scotland Farmers). They provide business insights and discuss grain marketplace, how the last 12 months have been, grain quality, supply and demand and what does 2024 look like as a trading environment.

Episode Timestamps 

00.00 Introduction – background and business operations
04:26 Increasing demand for malting barley
05:15 Steps in the supply chain
06:29 Global whisky sales and investment at malting level
08:29 Procuring grain and how a cooperative works
09:52 Grain varieties
10:33 Current planting situation and growers commitments
11:30 Grain storage and movement throughout the year
15:10 Do end users drive when processing occurs and tonnage targets?
17:39 Dealing with variable grain quality
20:42 Expectations for 2024
23:14 New varieties on the horizon
26:33 Supply chain – priorities for the next 24 months
30:29 Lower carbon barley
33.01 Next month – Kirsten Williams discusses sheep health and welfare

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Phone: 0300 323 0161


Hosted by Mark Bowsher-Gibbs

Guests; Gary Catto (Bairds Malt) & Robin Barron (East of Scotland Farmers)

Produced by Heather Stuart

Edited by Cameron Waugh

Executive Producer Kerry Hammond

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