Barrett Burston’s Perth plant, acquired in 2011, sources all its barley from local WA growers. Having a malting plant in the state has fostered a closer working relationship with the more than 100 local growers that supply them.
In practical terms, this means valuable feedback from growers about what they feel best equipped to grow, in terms of variety and specifications for different styles of malt depending on the soil type or micro-climate of their farms.
They are also able to give feedback on what varieties are doing well and producing the best yields. This helps BBM to determine growers’ yearly contracts, which specify the barley variety they should grow, specifications and tonnage.
Michael says that the growers are supportive, sending in samples and updates on how the crops are doing. He says it’s these longer term relationships they build with many of their barley growers – especially those that grow trial varieties – that is invaluable to BBM.