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Our Craft

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE PILOT

Good things are taking root

At Guinness, we are ‘all in’ for the long haul – for our people, our products, our partners and our planet. We are only 263 years into our 9,000 year lease at the St James’s Gate brewery and we will never settle in pursuit of a better, more sustainable future for all.

We understand our responsibility to play our part in regenerating the productive landscapes and communities which we depend on, which is why we are undertaking one of the most ambitious regenerative agricultural trials to take place on the island of Ireland.

Our Ambition

Our ambition is to work alongside Irish barley farmers to support them on the transition towards regenerative agriculture. We aim to scale the adoption of practices that employ nature-based solutions to support the production of low carbon barley and improve shared natural resources such as biodiversity and water under a regeneratively-grown model.

Working with Irish farmers

Guinness will work hand-in-hand with Irish farmers to define the most effective regenerative agriculture practices, adapted to the local context and the specific needs of Irish barley production.

We have assembled a network of partners to shape the design of this pilot and implement innovative practices, including two highly respected technical partners and local Irish agronomists.

There are five key outcomes that this three-year pilot aims to achieve:

  1. Improvements in soil health and its carbon sequestration potential
  2. Enhanced biodiversity
  3. Reduction in synthetic fertiliser use
  4. Enhanced water quality
  5. Improved farm profitability and farmer livelihoods.


These principles are widely recognised as the fundamental building blocks for regenerative agriculture.

The power of nature

Regenerative agricultural practices use the power of nature to restore biodiversity and cut carbon emissions and this pilot programme is all about developing innovative approaches that can be scaled up across Ireland and in other sourcing areas around the world.

In the first phase in 2022, the programme will begin with 30 farms across spring and winter barley sowing. As the pilot develops, more farmers will be engaged to take part.

Test & Learn

As the pilot progresses, we will continue to work in collaboration with knowledge partners in the spirit of testing, learning, and sharing evidence-based practices.

We will openly share the results from the pilot programme so that other farms can learn and adopt agricultural practices that have demonstrated the highest potential impact from a farm profitability and environmental standpoint.

Sustainability in action

One of the key aims of Diageo’s 2030 commitments is to develop regenerative agriculture pilot programmes in five key sourcing landscapes. The Irish barley pilot will be the first one to deliver against such ambition.

This pilot forms part of Diageo’s wider 10-year sustainability action plan, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, and 25 ambitious goals including its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its direct operations and a 50% reduction in emissions across its value chain by 2030.