Measuring soil carbon stocks in Scotland

Diageo announces regenerative agriculture programmes across Scotch and tequila

12 October, 2023

Don Julio producer Diageo, has announced two regenerative agriculture programmes across its tequila and Scotch brands in Mexico and Scotland.

The programmes are focused on reducing carbon emissions of farming barley and wheat for Scotch whisky, and agave for tequila, while driving additional benefits for the farmers.

Ewan Andrew, president of global supply chain & procurement and chief sustainability officer, said: “As we commit to continued investment in long term business growth, we’re excited to expand our regenerative farming work more formally beyond our current Guinness programme in Ireland.”

Both programmes hope to drive enhanced biodiversity, improved water stewardship, carbon reduction and better soil health management. The programmes will look at locally adapted practices such as cover crops, reduced cultivations and crop rotations.

Tequila's regenerative agriculture pilot will build local knowledge of agave regenerative practices and investigate how the plant holds carbon over a six to seven year growth cycle. 

The programme will span across Diageo managed farms and its network of producers for tequila brands, including Don Julio, Casamigos, DeLeon and Astral. 

The first phase of the Scotch programme will focus on approximately 20 farms in three key barley and wheat sourcing regions in Scotland for brands including Johnnie Walker, Talisker and The Singleton.

Both programmes are being delivered in partnership with agriculture and soil carbon experts, including Agricarbon and James Hutton Limited. 

The programmes will also aim to build supply resilience, particularly in Jalisco, Mexico, a region exposed to climate risks, by building soil health.

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