Guinness has announced its plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its pints thanks to a major agricultural initiative.
The iconic Irish company says the project will improve regenerative agriculture practices and will be the most ambitions ever attempted in Ireland.
The aim of the initiative is to reduce the volume of CO2 that is generated barley production.
It is hoped that the project will improve the several aspects of the production of Guinness including soil health and the carbon sequestration potential of the land, decrease in synthetic fertiliser use, and better water quality.
It is a three-year programme and has been welcomed by the government.
For the first phase, Guinness has teamed up with 40 Irish barley farms and several businesses whose expertise lie in various relevant areas.
Soil management and crop production experts and suppliers such as Boortmalt, Glanbia and Comex McKinnon are on board.
Co Wexford farmer Walter Furlong Junior is taking part in the pilot programme.
He said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Guinness on this programme. The great thing about regenerative agriculture is the simplicity of the approach.
“It’s not a complicated process – it works in harmony with nature whilst providing a commercial benefit for farmers.
“We already use regenerative agricultural practices and have seen a marked improvement in the quality of the soil on our farm. It is a highly effective approach that leads to much better outcomes.”
Guinness hope to help the farmers improve their livelihoods and expect more farmers to get involved if the project can prove to be a success.
Diageo President John Kennedy envisages the project will eventually lead to more efficient farming across the world.
He said: “This pilot is the first such programme being implemented by Diageo and the outcomes will help inform other potential opportunities, not just in Ireland, but in other countries where we source raw materials.
“We will openly share the results from the pilot programme so that other farms can learn and adopt practices that have demonstrated the highest potential impact from an environmental and farm profitability standpoint.
“Like the Irish farming community, we are ‘all in’ for the long haul – for our people, products, partners and planet.”
So, there you have it, next time you’re supping a pint of the black stuff you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the planet.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling