©JG16-025-6119North East England Chamber of Commerce member and Berwick family business, Simpsons Malt, which is over 150 years old, has just completed their latest phase of investment, bringing the total to £80m in the last 25 years.

The company, established in 1862 by James Simpson, supplies premium malt to the brewing, distilling and food clients all over the globe.

To meet demand the business relocated to Berwick and commenced building the Tweed Valley Maltings in 1962.  This current location in Berwick allows Simpsons Malt to take advantage of the barley grown in nearby fields that is unique due to the geological conditions – the soils are derived from the glacial drift that produces the highest quality crop.

Simpsons Malt employs over 200 people and has two of the fifth generation of the Simpsons family in executive roles, Richard Simpson, Vice Chairman and his brother Peter, Sales Director, with their father Simon in the Chairman role.

Richard Simpson: “It is of paramount importance to us to be based here in the North East, where we can be right next to, what we believe to be, some of the best barley in the world.  It is a fundamental part of our success.  The quality of the crop enables us to produce the finest malt which in turn allows our customers to create the finest beers and whiskies.”

Eamonn Leavey, head of President’s Club, the Chamber said: “This company is a perfect example of a great business which has capitalised on a fantastic natural asset.  We are delighted to have them within our membership and for them to share the secrets of their success with other members.”

Richard Simpson said: “As a major Berwick employer we are very actively involved in the local community and being a member of the Chamber also allows us to tap into knowledge and expertise in areas we are interested in improving and expanding.”

Simon Simpson has been instrumental in ensuring the business remains at the cutting edge of technological advancements.

As part of its strategy to be self-sufficient, and as Simpsons Malt produces around 300,000 tonnes of malt each year, it founded grain merchants McCreath, Simpson & Prentice in 1980.  It also bought farming partner John Guthrie in 2011.