Soil

Malteurop’s anchoring in agriculture

Malteurop is profoundly concerned with the soil, for two reasons – because its origins and its shareholding structure are agricultural and because it is a processor of agricultural raw materials.

Today Malteurop is located in over 80% of the zones where barley for brewing and distilling is produced. Close to 10,000 growers supply between 2.7 and 3 million tons of malting barley per year, grown on some 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) of land all over the world.

Malting barley, a highly technical crop with a low environmental impact

Malting barley is among the cereal grains whose growth requires the least inputs (fertilizers, phytosanitary products). Unlike most other cereal grains, malting barley requires low protein contents, and consequently smaller amounts of nitrogen fertilizers, whose manufacture requires high consumption of petroleum products, and therefore of non-renewable energy. Barley is by nature a crop that is fairly resistant to pressure from parasites, and so requires low volumes of phytosanitary products.

Since its growth cycle is short, growing malting barley requires a fair degree of technical competence on the part of growers, who must intervene advisedly, rapidly and at precise points in the growth itinerary.

Malteurop provides growers with technical advice during the preparation, then the implementation of crop itineraries suited to different pedoclimatic conditions.

Sustainable agriculture

Malteurop’s team of agronomists accompanies growers in setting up and implementing rigorous crop itineraries in order to rationalise the use of inputs and limit their use as much as possible.

Malteurop creates long-term partnership relations with these producers of malting barley in order to secure its supplies and guarantee the quality of its raw materials. Growers use phytosanitary products chosen from a very positive, restrictive list.

Research and development on new varieties of malting barley is part of Malteurop’s vertical integration strategy. As the only maltster directly involved in varietal research and selection, Malteurop develops and selects varieties suited to the evolution of climatic conditions – in particular drought – as well as new varieties that are naturally more disease-resistant in order to limit the use of phytosanitary products even more.

Malteurop also encourages initiatives aimed at increasing the natural fertility of the soil – for example by maintaining plant ground cover in order to trap nitrates and protect soil against natural erosion.

These actions respond fully to brewer customers' increasingly demanding and precise requirements regarding the quality, varieties and properties of the barley used to produce the malts Malteurop supplies them. They also meet the expectations of consumers, who are more and more attentive to the local origin of products.