Muntons has been producing malt and malted ingredients since 1921. Its commodity is used in products such as breakfast cereals, confectionery and beer.
A Stowmarket malt business says a new peating plant will form part of its growth plans over the next few years.
Muntons will build the new peating plant 25 miles from its facility in Bridlington, Yorkshire. It will also increase its liquid malt extract plant production capacity at its Stowmarket plant. The company says the expansion is needed to meet an increasing demand among consumers for malted ingredients.
The finance will come from HSBC, who have committed a five-year Asset Based Lending (ABL) facility. The loan replaces the previous £53m facility the company made with Royal Bank of Scotland in 2015.
Andy Simpson, Group Finance Director at Muntons, said: “The new peating plant will enthuse the malt with peat to give it a smoky flavour, enabling us to sell peated malt to whisky distillers for a smoky flavoured whisky. Some of our competitors are already doing this. We will move the malt through the peating plant and distribute it from there.”
The proposals come despite both its Bridlington and Stowmarket plants suffering fires last year. The grain facility in Stowmarket was hit in October, though production was unaffected. The Bridlington plant did experience a more severe fire the following month though which destroyed equipment. Thankfully, neither incident experienced casualties.
Beside the company’s expansion plans, it has also applied for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status as part of its Brexit contingency plans. Muntons joins a number of East Anglian manufacturers such as pet food firm Skinner’s in applying for AEO status.
Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times, Andy Simpson said this would “mean a faster application process for customs simplifications and authorisations, so will be very helpful whatever happens with Brexit and should be in place before the Brexit deadline.”
Muntons was founded in 1921 by Munton Baker-Munton who established the company to meet the demand for malt extract from both the brewing and food industries. His family had been involved in trading malt and grain since the 19th century.
According to Muntons, its malting plants in Stowmarket and Bridlington have brought the combined production capacity to 175,000 tonnes of malt per year. The firm employs over 250 staff in the UK and another 70 staff internationally. It supplies food industry and brewing customers all over the world with the Middle East and the US being the company’s biggest export markets.
Reporting by Harry Wise