Our carbon foot print calculation demonstrated that our malted barley was the largest single element in the overall foot print of our new make spirit. Some of this is mitigated by our malt supplier, Muntons https://www.muntons.com/practical-sustainability/ , investing significantly in low carbon malting and kilning systems. However, this still left a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in our malted barley.
The GHG emissions in our barley are not driven primarily by our farmers ploughing, sowing, and harvesting but the use of the various fertilisers on the land. Here at InchDairnie we are supporting the YEN Zero program which will research and share the learnings on how to reduce the GHG emission from the growing of crops. https://www.yen.adas.co.uk/projects/yen-zero
ADAS established the Yield Enhancement Network, YEN, in 2012 and much of the early work was looking at increasing the on-farm yield of many different crops. The network it is a true open learning network where real on farm experience, learnings and data can be shared by the farming communities and the industries that support them. https://www.yen.adas.co.uk/about
Early work from the original YENs have shown there is only a small association between the tons of crop harvested and the amount of fertiliser used. So clearly other matters are in play. The early work of YEN Zero will look to establish some benchmark data to provide a base line for future work, mitigating the carbon footprint of crop products, to be measured against.
Here at InchDairnie we do not offset our carbon emissions. We look to make a real change to what we do and how we do it. Being a true low carbon foot print distillery is not incompatible with making a great whisky, it just takes some effort and innovation. As part of our support for the program we are looking to sponsor five farms in Fife to take part in the program. We will look to malt and distil some of their barley to demonstrate the full impact of the work on our carbon foot print. It’s not a competition, however, we will give a cask of whisky and mature it here at InchDairnie, made from their own barley, to the farm that grows the barley which gives us the lowest carbon foot print of all the Fife Farms.
Any Fife farmer interested in taking part in the program, please contact us through our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org