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Gleadell Agriculture join with the Carlsberg Group in new barley venture

Null-Lox spring malting barley is a new development from the Carlsberg Research Centre, moving malt and beer quality onto the next level. Null-Lox varieties are already successfully established in other EU countries, and are now being grown in the UK for the first time on exclusive buyback contracts with Gleadell Agriculture. 

Stuart Shand, Gleadells sales director, explains that these new varieties of barley are exciting brewers around the world by improving taste and foam: The research has shown that you get a more uniform quality beer by minimising negative beer staling components: no aged off-flavours and stable, quality foam, when beer is brewed using Null-Lox barley.

Beer is no different from any other manufactured food product or drink: it tastes best fresh. Null-Lox barley, which was developed through traditional breeding by Carlsberg Group Research together with Heineken, helps keep beer fresh for a longer period of time, increasing its shelf life, because Null-Lox barley lacks a particular enzyme (called lox), normally present in barley, which accelerates the staling process making off-flavours.

There are currently three varieties being grown exclusively on buyback with Gleadell Agriculture, all of which have their yield underwritten against Tipple. Indications from growers are that the varieties are very clean to grow, vigorous and quick to establish and are looking as well – if not better – than conventional varieties.

Along with Carlsberg and Heineken, we recognise that the key to success is ensuring that growers get an attractive return for growing this exciting new malting barley – therefore we offer a revolutionary buyback contract with Null-Lox barley.

At present several varieties of malting barley with the Null-Lox gene have been developed and EU-listed, all adjusted to climate and growth conditions in different parts of the world. These varieties have already been successfully grown in fields in several countries. After the initial year with the three varieties in 2009, Null-Lox barley was sown commercially in the UK for the first time in 2010 (both for malting and seed).  Five new varieties have been entered in UK National List (NL) trials, and the area of Null-Lox is set to rapidly expand for the 2011 crop onwards due to the very strong demand from UK Brewers.

The Null-Lox breeding programme is an exciting new opportunity for forward-thinking farmers, providing new varieties with sound agronomy and similar-to-better yields to those of traditional barley, well into the future. Within three to five years, Carlsberg see the majority of their malt being produced from Null-Lox barley. Barley that will be exclusively supplied by Gleadell Agriculture, adds Stuart Shand.

1. Gleadell Agriculture currently has offices in Full Sutton (Yorkshire), Hemswell (Lincolnshire),  Swaffham  (Norfolk), Lyndon (Rutland) and Berwick St Leonard (Wiltshire)
2. Gleadell Agriculture Ltd is equally owned by AC Toepfer (International) GmbH – based in Hamburg, who trade in all agricultural products globally; and Union InVivo – based in Paris, who trade agricultural products on the international markets and operate major grain storage and handling facilities.

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