Ireland's beer blogger The Beer Nut noted it in yesterday's comments but the details are quite astounding as the maltsters for Guinness's owner Diageo are proposing a 20% cut in the price they will pay for the 2008 crop:
A spokesman for Greencore Malt, which supplies Diageo, said grain prices had in general "fallen dramatically" in the past few months on the continent and elsewhere. "We have no choice but to reflect the prices," he said, pointing out that prices rose by 80pc during 2007. In 2006, Greencore Malt paid €120 per tonne to farmers, this rose to €205 last year before falling to €165 a tonne this year.
The Irish Farmers' Association is protesting, noting that "that farmers received just over one cent for each pint of the brew" while Guinness has raised the price 5.5% over this year and last - citing malt prices. Diageo has responded with a rather...err...monopolistic response:
We suggest malting barley growers continue dialogue with the malting companies at the appropriate forum for pricing issues and cease making ill-considered allegations against parties who are not involved in the pricing discussions.
Hmmm...It's really not like I can announce a boycott in response from we here at A Good Beer Blog seeing as we don't really buy the stuff any more...though we are known to take our black rum neat. But maybe it's not their fault. Maybe I should be boycotting the boycotts of the Irish Farmers' Association. They sure do seem to protest a lot.