Post-meeting, Scottish farmers confident of future feed supply from whisky association

© iStock/zmurciuk-k

Scottish farmers say they are confident of hammering out an agreement with the Scottish whisky industry amid concerns about a shortage of distillery by-products for animal feed.

Earlier this week, representative from the Scottish Tenant Farmers’ Association (STFA) met with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) in Edinburgh.

The STFA had become increasingly concerned about a shortage of animal feed created from distillery-by products.

Some farmers in parts of Scotland are heavily dependent on the distillery-by products. The feed ingredients are consumed by livestock in the form of grain, draff and pot ale and provide a useful source of protein and are relatively cost-effective, said the STFA.

The current shortage has been largely attributed to the whisky industry’s increasing use of anaerobic digestion and biomes plants to turn by-product into energy at the expense of feed for Scottish farmers.

“Over the last two or three years, the supply of [distillery by-products] has been getting more limited,” Angus McCall, executive director at the STFA, told FeedNavigator. Instead of selling the by-products, distilleries are using it in anaerobic digesters or biomass plants to generate renewable energy, he added.

Meeting went well

He told us the meeting went well and that he was convinced Scottish farmers would have an adequate supply of distillery-by products going forward.

“The SWA doesn’t want a public spat,” he said. “I think they are very conscious of their place in the food chain. They genuinely would like to help and support agriculture.”

The next step, he said, was to coordinate the future distillery products to ensure the by-products were available at the right time of the year and in the right places in Scotland for farmers.

“Distillers remain committed to the supply of high-quality feed to farmers,” said Julie Hesketh-Laird, SWA acting chief executive. “We explained [at the meeting] that the new start-up distilleries will increase the number of outlets of draff to everyone’s benefit.

“But the industry needs a range of markets for our by-products, for example to produce energy from AD and biomass. The distilling industry, like other sectors, including the farming sector, invests in these techniques to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure industry sustainability.”

Whisky industry to work with Scottish farmers

“We’ll continue to work with farmers, the Scottish Government, environmental regulators and others to help facilitate supply chain discussions with an interest to balance by-product supply into the UK feeds market and our overall sustainability ambitions,” said Hesketh-Laird.

While there are alternative feeds for Scottish farmers, such as soybeans, many ingredients would have to be imported, creating an extra expense.

According to McCall, the shortage fundamentally has been created by a distortion in the market, as the UK government offers incentives for distilleries to process the distillery by-product into energy.

“That is really distorting the market and causing the problem,” he said.

Related News

© istock/unkas_

Hike in animal feed exports from Scotland

'The reason that we can make it low cost is that we use nitrates and phosphates from whisky co-products to offset the nutrient costs associated with microalgal production.' © istock/MartinM303

Whisky thrash to fish feed treasure

'Executives at feed companies need to take this risk seriously. Even if they do not believe this future will actually come to pass, they need to admit it is feasible. Moreover, much like sensible business people take out insurance for risks, the feed industry needs to hedge against this possibility.' © istock/anyaivanova

Is lab meat an existential threat to the animal feed industry?

© DarcyMaulsby

Report has boosted UK industry confidence in distiller’s grains as feed source

Study supports inclusion of up to 60% distiller grains in cattle feed

Study supports inclusion of up to 60% distiller grains in cattle feed


Studies on methionine, MCFAs, and corn distillers’ oil pigment spark debate

Several cost effective feed supplements for winter are on offer ©

Boosting US winter cattle feed for energy, protein

© Istock

Limited diets with high DDGs inclusion support growth, nutrient digestion in dairy heifers


Corn byproduct may offer needed carotenoids, alternative oil use


Pelleted, treated feeds may boost digestion in growing cattle


US poultry lobby: Corn-based biofuel levels may cause fuel-food tension

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.