Alison Milne and her family at their farm
A fifth-generation working family farm in Fife has launched a craft malting business after securing a £500,000 funding package from HSBC UK.
Crafty Maltsters, which operates from A. Milne and Sons Farm on the outskirts of Auchtermuchty, has used the funding to purchase the equipment needed to produce local craft malt for Scotland’s brewers and distillers.
The funding, which includes a new loan and overdraft facility, has also enabled the family to build a new 3,000 sq. ft. on-site shed for additional grain storage and processing.
Alison Milne, a former commercial director at NFU Scotland, and her husband Daniel took over management of A. Milne & Sons Farm from Daniel’s parents in 2014 and immediately looked for ways to diversify and add value to their existing arable and livestock enterprise.
Alison Milne, owner of Crafty Maltsters, said: “After studying the malting supply chain we spotted a gap in the market for small-scale malting providers that can guarantee quality, locally-sourced malt for brewers and distillers across Scotland.
“We want to help put small-scale malting at the forefront of ingredient supply chain and tell the story of Scotland’s grain-to-glass journey, as well as the value that malt brings to beers and spirits. Working with HSBC UK has been of huge benefit to us and we value the bank as a real partner in the business, challenging and working with us to make our business model stronger.”
David Rhind, agriculture relationship director at HSBC UK, said: “We were impressed with Alison’s experience and expertise in the sector and, along with her family, she has clearly spotted an excellent business opportunity. HSBC UK is dedicated to supporting businesses of all sizes connected to Scotland’s burgeoning food and drink sector. We wish Alison and Crafty Maltsters every success in taking the business forward.”
Trade association Scotland Food and Drink has set a target of making brewing a £1bn sector by 2030. Malt is a core ingredient in beer and spirits and Crafty Maltsters hopes to establish a Scottish speciality malt brand that benefits from the boom in craft beers and distilling in Scotland.
The finance was allocated from HSBC UK’s national SME Fund which aims to actively support UK SMEs. The £12bn fund announced by HSBC UK includes £650 million committed to supporting SMEs in Scotland.
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