Who is Simpsons Malt

Supplying malt to some of the UK’s biggest names in whisky and beer, such as Macallan, Highland Park and Tennent’s, Simpsons Malt Ltd is a true industry expert.

And after more than 150 years, the fifth generation, family malting and merchanting business is still going from strength to strength.

Indeed, back in January 2021, Simpsons Malt completed the acquisition of the grain merchanting business of W.N. Lindsay Ltd, including the company’s four sites at Keith in Morayshire, Stracathro in Angus, Sidlaw in Perthshire, and Gladsmuir in East Lothian.

With this acquisition, Simpsons Malt has gained roughly 250,000 tonnes of in-house grain storage.

A means of the company continuing in its desired direction, this will allow Simpsons Malt to store close to 100% of its annual malting barley requirement in company-owned premises.

“Being able to store the barley at sites owned by the company increases our traceability and provenance, which is becoming increasingly important for our end user malting customers,” explains Andy Hindhaugh, Simpsons Malt commercial director.

malting process of a malt supplier in Scotland
The malting process

A positive change in the malting map of Scotland

To highlight the company’s focus on sustainability and traceability, Simpsons Malt recently became a Certified B Corporation.

This means the company has joined a growing group of businesses that have met rigorous social and environmental standards that represent commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit.

Indeed, the company recently assisted all of its farming partners who grow malting barley on contract in becoming accredited to SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) to Gold level. This was completed prior to the acquisition and the goal is to get all former W.N. Lindsay Ltd contracted growers verified to Gold level in 2022.

Hindhaugh adds: “With W.N. Lindsay Ltd a prominent business in the Scottish agricultural sector, we know that many customers will have forged a strong connection with the Lindsay brand and the people working for the company throughout the years.

“However, we’re delighted that most farm traders have remained with us following the acquisition and, as a fellow fifth-generation, family business, we believe Simpsons Malt, with its unique infrastructure spanning agricultural merchanting, grain storage and malting, is well placed to continue to meet customer requirements and growers can still contact their farm trader as normal.”

The four W.N. Lindsay sites will be rebranded in the coming weeks to feature the logo of Simpsons Malt’s agricultural merchanting division, McCreath Simpson & Prentice (MSP), while all W.N. Lindsay Ltd farm traders will begin to work under the MSP brand.

The Keith grain store in Scotland

What does this mean for the supply chain and sustainability?

In gaining approximately 250,000 tonnes of in-house grain storage, the acquisition has allowed Simpsons Malt to further secure its malting barley supply chain, offering enhanced traceability for both the grower and end user.

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From the grain stores, the barley is then transported via wagon – most of the Simpsons Malt fleet uses sustainable HVO fuel, reducing net CO2 emissions by up to 90% – to the company’s two maltings.

And the acquisition of the grain merchanting business of W.N. Lindsay Ltd ties in strategically with another major investment planned by the company in Scotland.

A planning application for a state-of-the-art, 100,000-tonnes-per-year maltings with malting barley storage facilities on the outskirts of Rothes was submitted to Moray Council earlier this month.

If approved, a maltings in the heart of Scotch whisky country will enable the company to serve its distilling customers in the region – most of which are within a 10 mile radius of the proposed site – as sustainably and efficiently as possible.

It will also enable the company to supply Scottish grown barley which is stored in Scotland and malted in Scotland, significantly improving supply chain management.

malt suppliers in Scotland transporting barley
MSP wagon transporting malting barley

What services does Simpsons Malt’s agricultural merchanting division MSP offer?

MSP doesn’t just buy in and store barley for malting at harvest time. The agricultural merchanting division offers a full range of farm inputs and services assisted by FACTS and BASIS-qualified agronomists.

Plus, the addition of W.N. Lindsay Ltd staff, sites and infrastructure allows for an increased and improved offering to growers.

MSP supplies all major varieties of cereal and pulse seeds, with the seed dressed at the division’s own seed plant in Berwick-upon-Tweed. In addition to that, there is a fertiliser blending plant, while MSP is also a distributor of market leading fertiliser and agrochemical brands.

Other departments include the supply of game and livestock feed, grass seed and cover crops and the trading of combinable crops, including wheat, oats, oil seed rape and rye.

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