The John Innes centre near Norwich was the venue for the very first Norfolk Malting Barley Supply Chain Forum, which took place on the 18th June. This inaugural event was organised by the Stowmarket based maltster Muntons plc and was deemed to be a huge success.
Representatives from all areas of the malting barley supply chain were invited to the event and in total 46 representatives attended from areas as diverse as farmers to Brewers, Maltsters to Agronomists. This forum marks the start of a stream of subsequent events, with plans for the next to be based in Suffolk well underway.
The purpose of the malting barley supply chain forum is to protect the future supply of malting barley. Every link in the supply chain is encouraged to consider the needs of the other links and then working together determine ways to strengthen the chain. This cooperative methodology was embraced at the inaugural event as one by one the presentations drove home the benefits of this approach.
There was inevitable some tense discussions as candidates sought to find common ground but overall the result was very positive. As Neil Pearmain, Supply Chain and Logistics Director at Muntons explained “With anything new there is always some scepticism and questions will be raised about the rationale behind the programme. It was noticeable that opinions changed as the forum progressed.” Neil continued “The attendance figures were not only higher than anticipated, with good representation from the farming community but the quality of attendee was excellent too. Overall we were delighted with the result.”
In addition to the next Suffolk based supply chain forum event the plan is to arrange informative visits to a variety of manufacturers in the supply chain.