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Grain Growers Protest Outside Guinness

On Tuesday, the Irish Grain Growers held a protest outside St James’s Gate in Dublin, to highlight the current challenges facing traditional malting barley growers.

Over 100 grain growers took part in a demonstration outside of the Guinness Storehouse on Tuesday to highlight the challenges and low prices facing the malting barley sector.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, chair of the Irish Grain Growers, Bobby Miller said: “We’re here to hand in a letter to Guinness staff today to highlight a situation that’s facing Guinness brewery and malting barley growers.

“We were outside the gates of Boortmalt three to four weeks ago. We contacted them and they haven’t even got the courtesy of contacting us back.

“This has been ongoing trying to deal with Boortmalt, but we had to come here [to Guinness], this is the next step we had to take.

“We’re going out of business it’s as simple as that.

“We’ll back be back, we can’t afford to keep going the way we’re going. If this is not resolved we will be back.”

Miller said that the growers either get a result or they won’t be growing malting barley, that they have no other option.

“There’s other crops that are more viable to grow and we’re facing pressure from other sectors for access to land as well.

“We’re living in the real world, it’s high noon for malting barley growers, we’re part of building this great company that is Guinness and we’re just being shoved to one side at this stage.

“We can’t take it any more.”

Shame

Also speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal was Wexford grain grower Art Murphy who said that Tuesday’s demonstration came about as a result of solid frustration.

“We’re growing grain for generations but I’m sure no one [until now] has had to come to Guinness with the frustration.

“It’s an industry that grows the best malting grain in Ireland and yet we’re being paid third-world prices for our produce and expected to grow it forcefully.”

“There’s so many stipulations, it’s do it or die at this stage. A tonne of straw is worth more than one tonne of grain. I would say to Mr Diageo today, shame on you, for having us outside your door.

“It’s a disgrace that we had to come up here to look for a living off a company turning €4bn profit.”

Source: Farmers Journal

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