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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 16 December, 2019
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There was a protest outside the Guinness factory today, here's why

Dozens of farmers held a demonstration.

DOZENS OF MALTING barley growers staged a protest outside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin today.

A spokesperson for the farmers told TheJournal.ie that the demonstration was largely centred on prices, but also brought on by “a ramping up over the years of quality standards from Diageo”.

He said that “very late” into the 2014 planting season Diageo, through its handlers Boortmalt, made changes to the amount of protein that must be in the barley.

This led to many farmers being afraid they wouldn’t be able to meet the required standards. As a result, nearly all grain was sold at harvest time “at low prices not seen since the 1970′s”.

In a statement released today, the growers said that they are “delighted to see an increase in demand and want to supply it, but feel they are being forced out of this sector because of the poor returns for such a high quality, high specification product”.

They are calling on Daigeo to increase the price they receive per tonne of crop from €147 to €170.

The spokesperson said that, at present, farmers are producing “a really quality food product” while receiving the “price of an animal feed product”.

Growers also want Diageo to ensure more direct consultation with growers on specification and conditions, rather than ”forcing changes on a take-it-or-leave-it basis without fully examining and listening to the impact on growers”.

Diageo was contacted for comment but none was received by time of publication. 

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Órla Ryan

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