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As a Certified B Corporation, sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do here at McCreath Simpson & Prentice (MSP).

We are pleased to have forged close links with our suppliers in the procurement of sustainably manufactured farm inputs, while we have also gone to great lengths to assist our customers in becoming accredited to globally recognised sustainability standards.

In most cases, this enables us to purchase certified sustainably grown combinable crops at harvest, which is then either used by our malting division Simpsons Malt in the production of high-quality malts, or sold to our partners in the distilling and food industries. 

With our company goal to be net zero by 2030, take a look at some of the initiatives and projects we have been involved in on our journey to meeting that target.

Farm Sustainability Assessment

We’re proud to have worked alongside our farming customers in recent years to help them achieve greater levels of sustainability certification through SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA).

The FSA is a globally recognised certification system and, in 2020, we assisted 422 farms in becoming verified to Gold performance level. At the time of certification, these farms made up part of the only FSA Gold verified Farm Management Group for barley in the United Kingdom. It is also verification that these farming partners use the most sustainable farming practices available to them.

In 2022, following the expansion of our number of trading partners through the acquisition of the grain merchanting division of W.N. Lindsay Ltd, another Farm Management Group was verified, achieving 91.2% Gold and 8.8% Silver.

  • “All farmers are aware of the need to adopt more sustainable practices so when my rep told me that MSP were planning to get all of their malting barley growers FSA verified, I was fully supportive of it. I learned a lot during the intensive auditing process and was delighted to attain the globally recognised FSA Gold verification."

    Guy Moor, Nesbit Farm, Wooler

Cool Farm Tool

As a member of the Cool Farm Alliance community, this gives us access to the Cool Farm Tool, an online calculator that enables farmers to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and understand mitigation options for agricultural production.

The online Cool Farm Tool provides scientifically robust quantification methods that are sensitive to farm and field scale management choices.

It works by providing growers and their advisors with the ability to plug in their farm practices and get immediate results and instant feedback on the impact of different farming management options using 'what-if' scenarios.


We know that fertiliser application is a significant percentage of a farm’s overall carbon footprint and, at MSP, we work closely with suppliers to ensure the fertilisers we purchase are sourced from the most efficient facilities that are using abatement technology. 

We are also working alongside some of these suppliers to trial and test lower carbon fertiliser products with the view to reducing the carbon footprint throughout our supply chain.

Meanwhile, at our own blending site, we predominantly blend with Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), which has a huge range of benefits around spreading, compatibility and storage.

Sustainable fertiliser options

Precision agriculture

Our advisory team are experienced in working with precision agriculture technology.

We are able to produce recommendations for variable rate seed, as well as variable rate lime, N, P and K fertiliser applications. Our advisors work using grain and soil analysis, satellite data and tractor mounted sensor data to maximise farm fertiliser use efficiency. 

We have also displayed our commitment to precision agriculture by investing in Drone AG’s Skippy Scout back in 2019. Skippy Scout uses drone technology to capture images at various points throughout a field, analysing the percentage healthy crop, percentage unhealthy crop, weeds and insect damage. We actively use Skippy Scout in our daily agronomy activities and also for trials data collection. 

Our crop trials

Our technical team, in conjunction with our farming partners, run a variety of different trials each year to help us with our sustainability objectives. 

We trial new varieties of winter wheat and spring barley and are experimenting with various cover crops and fertilisers. We also operate nutrient use efficiency (NUE) trials, explore different fertiliser application timings, use new biostimulants on the market and conduct seed treatment trials.

We are also exploring low carbon malting barley and distilling wheat production and have partnered with fertiliser producers, farming partners and distilling customers to trial novel products and agronomic approaches to achieve credible and quantifiable reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions of producing these grains. 

From these trials, we obtain a huge amount of data and this is passed on to our advisory team. This aids them with decision making on farm to ensure a maximum return on investment, while minimising inputs and caring for the environment.

Running on HVO

In January 2021, we took delivery of a 140,000 litre HVO fuel tank and switched our entire haulage and site vehicle fleet at our Berwick-upon-Tweed headquarters onto HVO, a synthetic paraffinic fuel that’s stable, renewable, sustainable and high-quality.

As a premium-quality second-generation renewable diesel alternative, HVO is made from 100% renewable raw materials and has reduced the greenhouse emissions of our fleet by up to 90%. Our additional haulage partners also use the fossil-free fuel for their malt deliveries with the company.

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