Molson Coors presents its Grower of the Year Award 2023

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Molson Coors Beverage Company has marked the 15-year anniversary of its Growers Group by awarding its 2023 Grower of the Year award to Shropshire farmer, Phil Preece.

The award recognised Mr Preece for consistently producing high-quality British malting barley, for his active engagement with the Growers Group and for adopting sustainable farming practices. Mr Preece operates a 280 hectare all-arable family farming business in Bridgnorth and, during 2022, produced over 406 tonnes of malting barley exclusively for Molson Coors.

Mr Preece receiving his award

He implemented measures to increase biodiversity on his farm using cover crops, hedgerows and field margining to provide spaces for local wildlife to thrive while improving soil health. He also worked to enhance water pollution preventions by integrating biofilters, settlement ponds and precision watering techniques.

Mr Preece said: “Winning this award is a special achievement for all of us at the farm. The valued relationship we’ve built with Molson Coors and the tools, information and support we’ve received through the Growers Group and our Frontier Agronomist David Allison, has been essential in helping us deal with the recent economic challenges faced by our industry.”

Kristy Smith, category lead for brewing materials at Molson Coors Beverage Company, said: “Phil has been a consistent and valued grower of great quality malting barley since the very beginning of the group, now celebrating its 15-year anniversary. He not only delivers good quality barley year on year, but he is an active and valued member of the group, he thoroughly deserves to take home the Grower of the Year Award.”

Growers Group

Mr Preece is an original member of the group which was established in 2008. Since then, it has grown to 148 farmers across the UK. The size of the network enables Molson Coors to manage supply risk of weather and regional variations by having growers spread across the main growing regions of England.

The Growers Group brings benefits to all stakeholders. The growers benefit from flexible contract options and certainty of the market secured by signing three-year deals at a time with Molson Coors to supply its malting barley, as well as a community to share knowledge and insight.

Members of the group get help from experts on everything from crop rotation and farm investment planning to solutions for addressing environmental impacts and improving the resilience of their business.

Ms Smith said: “We’re proud of the success of our Growers Group and the unique relationships we have with our farmers and trusted partners like Phil – and we look forward to growing and building on the success of the group.”

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