Highland Grain Ltd’s target market is the Scotch Whisky distilling industry. This market is seen as hugely important to the Scottish and UK economies. Scotch Whisky is one of the top five export earners for the UK and contributes a massive £1 Billion in taxes annually to the UK Exchequer (Source: Scotch Whisky Association), and is, of course, a huge market right on the doorstep of Scottish barley growers.
The total annual requirement for malting barley in Scotland is around 900,000 tonnes, of which around 800,000 tonnes is required for Scotch Whisky distilling. The total UK market for malting barley is around 1.8 million tonnes and so Scotland is a significant part of that total, despite having only around 10% of the arable area of the UK. On an EU-28 basis, annual requirement is in the order of 9 million tonnes, whereas globally, the total usage is approximately 23 million tonnes. The EU-28 is therefore a major player in the World trade of malt and malting barley.
The whisky market is looking for malting barley, which is low in nitrogen (i.e. protein) and high in starch, plus good grain size and very high germinative capacity. The brewing market, on the other hand, requires malting barley at generally higher nitrogen. This differentiation makes the whisky market more of a niche market and one which can carry extra value for growers.
In targeting the distilling industry, Highland Grain Ltd has been very successful in building close links with distillers, both directly and in partnership with sales maltsters. This has delivered direct benefit to customers through production of a higher quality product and also to Highland Grain and its members through more secure markets.
Highland Grain and its Members are proud to supply some of the biggest distillers and some of the best known global brands, alongside other, more niche, distillers. Members of Highland Grain have also been regular prizewinners in national malting barley competitions run by one of our major distilling customers.