A new assurance scheme for arable farmers supplying malting barley to the distilling market was launched at Arable Scotland, by Scottish Quality Cereals executive director, Alistair Ewan.

Speaking at the event, he said there was a growing need to ensure that malting barley producers supplying barley for the whisky industry had not used digestate from AD plants that also rely on food waste.

The new green digestate assurance scheme would enable ‘approved digestate’ from AD plants that rely solely on green crop, thereby ensuring the whisky industry is based 100% on farm sourced materials.

Until now, digestate returned to farms had no guarantee that it had come solely from farm sources as other industry food waste could have also been included.

Mr Ewan added that the scheme, which was two years in the making, was driven by the distilling trade which require 100% of digestate used on malting barley crops to be from green crop. Of the 70 AD plants in Scotland at present, some 40 plus are based purely on farm sourced materials.