Suntory Group has announced a new project that aims to produce barley with 50% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within five years.
Under the initiative, which is set to start production in 2023, Suntory will procure UK-grown barley that is produced using regenerative agriculture practices. Regenerative agriculture is a sustainable farming method that reduces dependency on chemical fertilisers and pesticides through the use of cover crops and no-till faming.
Brian Golden, senior general manager at Suntory Monozukuri Initiative, Suntory Holdings, said: “Thriving agricultural systems are crucial to our business and we place regenerative agriculture as one of the core solutions in transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices. We will further our collaboration with various supply chain partners to procure more sustainably and to decarbonise our value chain.”
The project will see Suntory collaborate with UK-based malt supplier Muntons, sustainable agriculture and supply chain consultancy, Future Food Solutions, and local barley farmers in the East Anglia region.
Barley is one of the main ingredients in Suntory’s products and the company estimates that agricultural raw ingredients contribute around 20% of the GHG emissions across its entire value chain.
In a statement, Suntory commented: “The project will start by baselining all crop-related emissions, which will inform an innovative nature-based programme of interventions that seek to reduce GHG emissions, enhance soil health and protect water, while maintaining crop performance and grain quality”.
Adrian Dyter, head of procurement and technical at Muntons, said: “As the first maltster to develop a carbon calculator to help identify the carbon intensive areas of the supply chain from grain to glass, we are excited to be working with Suntory, Future Food Solutions and the farming group in East Anglia led by Dewing Grain on this pioneering project”.
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