Sustainable Raw Materials

Consumer Confidence

A key industry challenge is maintaining a sustainable supply of suitable raw materials for Scotch Whisky production. We support our member companies by carrying out research on peated and unpeated malt and grain distilling cereals.

We are working on the development of new varieties of barley, wheat and other cereals suited to our changing climate, with good agronomics (high yielding and disease resistant) that will perform well in the distillery (alcohol yield, processability and flavour). Our industry needs to reduce its carbon footprint, with cereal production accounting for a significant proportion of this. To achieve this, we are working on projects such as reducing fertilizer requirements and improving soil health. Much of our work on cereals requires collaboration with organisations across the supply chain, including plant breeders and other research organisations.

Peat is another raw material of importance. Whilst the industry is committed to the responsible use of peat and our research is identifying ways of optimising the peating process, we are also exploring alternative strategies for creating whiskies with desired smoky characteristics.