Since the last update the company has been working very hard on all aspects of supply to its customers. Here are some of the developments.
Faram’s have been investing heavily in their facilities in both the UK and the USA to ensure the best quality hops are received by their customers. Following on from ISO 9001 certification in 2016 growers are now audited regularly for the quality of their facilities, their production methods, their adherence to the Modern Slavery Act and as always, the final quality of their hops. To ensure the hops stay in the best condition a new cold store has been built at the Worcestershire site which stores the hops at 0°c. Paul Corbett, Managing Director said “This is a huge investment for Faram’s and the new facility is up there with the best cold stores in the world for storing hops.” The 1,860m² (20,000ft²) store is capable of storing an additional 1,700 pallets and is already full with stock. The hops are being held for customers to draw on as required. “We noticed that we were storing more and more hops for our contracts each year and wanted to make sure that we were storing them in the best conditions possible” continued Corbett. “The store was completed in January and we are delighted with the results. With the new store we have the ability to have British hops off farm earlier and get them processed into T90 pellets or Freshpak and into store much quicker. With our US and New Zealand hops they are now 100% cold from the day they are picked up from the farm. The Yakima facility we installed in 2016 has been fully operational for over a year now and the cold store there has proved to be a very useful staging point for the quality checks and safe carriage of US hops to the UK. With refrigerated containers continuing to be
used to bring hops across the Atlantic it really is a complete cold chain.”
The company has also taken its responsibility with pesticide residue testing very seriously too. This has become a much bigger worry for everyone in the brewing industry and the testing programme undertaken by Faram’s has been stepped up to take samples from every farm they work with and have them checked for pesticide residues. “It forms part of the company’s commitment to supply the safest and highest quality hops we can” said Corbett.
Hop Development Programme
The company continues to work closely with growers in the UK, the US, the Czech Republic and Slovenia to develop new varieties of hops. Will Rogers, Charles Faram Sales Director and lead on the Hop Development Programme is very excited by the way the new varieties are developing. “We have already been able to release several new varieties that have shown great potential” said Will. “There are even more exciting new possibilities in the pipeline” he adds. “It seems that the further we go with our programme the more intensity of flavour we are getting. I can’t wait to taste some of the results from the brewing trials this year, the brewers who have tried the new hops are doing a great job!”
Faram’s have also invested in the programme of new hop seedlings developed by the British Hop Association at Wye Hops in Kent. Working in conjunction with Peter Darby this will give Faram’s access to a completely different genetic pool of potentially new varieties. 11 different “potentials” are being planted out in larger farm trials plots this year and there are many more in the pipeline. The Faram’s team have been making the annual September pilgrimage to Kent to test the “green aromas” on the trial plants; anything that smells promising has then been picked and dried by the Wye Hops team and presented for further aroma evaluation in January after harvest. This is where the 11 high scoring selections have come from and no doubt more will follow.
#Brithop and British Music
In association with the British Hop Association Faram’s has sponsored and supported an initiative from Drinks Maven to have several brewers (The Kernel, North Brewing Co, Burning Sky, Wild Beer Co and Cloudwater) to brew some fantastic new beers using British hops. Each brewer has nominated a song to be matched to the beer. The results were released this week at Mother Kelly’s in London and went down a storm! The aim is to raise awareness of the locally produced British varieties (old and new) and promote the benefits of using locally grown hops. Hopefully this event can be rolled out to more brewers next year with an even bigger selection of breweries, hops beers and music.
Current market update
It looks like this year could be another interesting one with the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe reporting a very early bloom in the crop. So early in fact that some hop yards are already coming into cone! This could mean that the harvest is very early this year and if it is will lead to reduced yields. As always it is very important to make sure that all your contract requirements have been communicated to your hops supplier so that the necessary arrangements can be made to cover them.