Memorandum from the National Farmers'
Union of Scotland
1. The drinks industry, especially the Scotch
Whisky industry is extremely important to Scottish agriculture
and to Scotland's balance of payments. A significant proportion
of Scottish grain production is used by distillers. Brewing is
important as it uses grain that could compete with Scottish production.
Only a very small part of the Scottish soft fruit crop is used
in the production of soft drinks.
2. We believe that only Scottish grain should
be used in the production of Scotch Whisky.
3. The distilling industry is a major purchaser
of Scottish barley, our most important crop. Around 700,000 tonnes
is purchased for malt production each year, mostly for use by
distillers. Scottish malting barley is particularly well suited
to the production of Scotch whisky.
4. Distillers are also major users of Scottish
wheat. This is used to produce spirit for blending with malt whisky
and for use in other alcoholic beverages. Distillers have purchased
around 300,000 tonnes per year, approximately a third of the Scottish
wheat crop. Prior to the provision of EU Whisky refunds much of
this market was filled by maize. It is very important therefore
that these refunds should be retained.
5. Distillers and maltsters have played
a significant part in the development of Scottish Quality Cereals,
the first cereal farm assurance scheme to receive EU accreditation.
We believe that the distilling industry should go further by using
only Scottish grain in the production of Scotch whisky.
6. The brewing industry is also important
to Scottish growers. Its direct use of Scottish grain is smaller
than the distilling industry but it plays a large role in providing
an outlet for English barley that could otherwise compete with
Scottish grain. Brewers use around 60 per cent of the two million
tonnes of barley used for malt production in the UK each year.
7. The majority of Scottish soft fruit production
is used for purposes other than soft drinks. There is little if
any commercial growing of other fruits for use in soft drinks.
The exception is specialist products such as sparkling raspberry
The National Farmers' Union of Scotland