Sir, – It is disappointing to hear that Simpsons Malt has purchased WN Lindsay’s grain marketing business – again a loss of another trader in the malting barley business.

Simpsons state that they are 'ideally placed to play a leading role in improving supply chain management for the benefit of growers'. But we have heard these sort of words before and the opportunities for farmers to receive a fair price for a quality product that is the basis of Scotland’s biggest and best industry, never seems to materialise.

Concern over the move has been expressed by both NFU Scotland and SQC. We need more buyers, not less.

I have been growing malting barley successfully for many years, for a long time dealing with respected local companies who were a pleasure to deal with. After my experiences of 2019, when a major company refused to pay even a fair feeding barley price for contracted malting barley, I gave up and now sell increased yield for feed.

So, the next time there is a shortage of quality grain and there will be, the buyers and maltsters better not come complaining to the growers.

Andrew F Gilmour

Londive,

Montrave Home Farm,

Leven,

Fife.