From barley grown on a Kulin farm to beer brewed in the South West using sustainable malt that is certified – the economics of sustainable farming have been outlined at the Regenerative Agriculture Conference at Margaret River.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) senior economist Brad Plunkett joined Kulin farmer Brendon Savage and Rocky Ridge Brewing co-founder Mel Holland to discuss the use of sustainable malt for the craft beer sector.
The two-day conference is being delivered by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River in partnership with DPIRD.
Conference attendees were told Rocky Ridge recently received 320 tonnes of Certified Sustainable™ malt at their carbon neutral brewery farm in Jindong.
It is the result of a whole of supply chain collaboration involving Tolga Farm in Kulin, ingredients supply company Bintani, Joe White Maltings (Boortmalt) and grain handler CBH Group – along with Certified Sustainable, a not-for-profit certification program for organisations, independently validating high environmental, social and governance (ESG) achievements.
“We estimate a CO2-equivalent emissions saving of more than 70 tonnes of per year through this local supply chain, compared with conventionally farmed malt,” Ms Holland said.
“We are Australia’s first Certified Sustainable™ and carbon neutral brewery and committed to net zero emissions from the brewing process by 2025.”
The barley has been whole batched, single origin sourced from Brendon and Gab Savage at Tolga Farm, who have been improving the quality of their soil after joining with Australian Soil Planners – one of Australia’s largest group of sustainable farmers – more than a decade ago.
Tolga Farm is WA’s only Certified Sustainable™ farm.
Dr Plunkett has been working with Tolga Farm and Rocky Ridge to examine aspects of the supply chain model that can be applied to other production systems.
“The department is interested in profitable, sustainable, low emissions and climate resilient farming models, better understanding these systems and how we can extend these into other areas,” Dr Plunkett said.
“Features of Tolga Farm’s system include a hybrid of conventional and alternative farm management practices, a low input, risk reduced system with low emissions.
“The supply chain itself provides a strong link from producer to consumer, is collaborative, local and has full traceability.”
Mr Savage said Tolga Farm’s plan focused on nutrient cycling, a high performing livestock component and reduction in synthetic fertiliser inputs and insecticides.
The livestock and pasture component has been increased to account for almost two thirds of production area, with the rest on cropping (barley and oats).
“Our key objective is sustainable intergenerational farming and soil health is key,” Mr Savage said.
More information on the Regenerative Agriculture Conference is available here.
Megan Broad/Jodie Thomson, media liaison
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