Live Panel: Join our debate on whisky and agriculture for COP26


Whisky is enjoyed as a bottled luxury throughout the world, but it starts life as agriculture. As such, we think it can participate in climate change solutions – by improving the health of our soils, conserving and improving biodiversity and improving our approach to genetic diversity for the future.

Scotland has opened its doors to host the UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 – said to be the most crucial climate change conference yet, bringing world leaders together to discuss action on plans for tackling the climate emergency.

On Wednesday November 10 we will open our (virtual) doors to discuss more widely the role of whisky in a changing climate. We invite you to find out more about how whisky and agriculture can work hand in hand to ensure the grain in our mash and the soil beneath our feet are the best they can be for us and the environment.


Our own Christy McFarlane who has been fronting our communications for several years, will host the debate from the distillery. She’ll be joined by experts in distilling and agronomy.


Annabel Thomas is the founder and CEO of Nc’Nean, a fellow west coast Scottish distillery, that first produced spirit in 2017. Nc’Nean were certified net zero this year (Scopes 1 and 2). Their barley is 100% organic, their distillery is powered by biomass fuelled by local wood chips and their bottles are made from 100% recycled glass.

David Thompson is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Spirit of Yorkshire distillery. Running a field to bottle outfit based on the family farm in Hunmanby, David and his team have trialled farming techniques like direct drilling and have their own wind turbines set up on-site.

Douglas Taylor is the CEO of Bruichladdich Distillery. Under his tenure, the distillery has launched a sustainability program that covers energy, packaging, community and agriculture & biodiversity. Having worked with farming partners across Scotland (and one in England), Douglas is familiar with the challenges that our farmers face and what distillers can do to support them.


Dr Stephen Jones is the founder and director of the Washington State University Bread Lab. He works with farmers, millers and bakers to develop equitable and affordable non-commodity grain systems. One of his goals is to introduce the concept of affordability into regional food systems, and specifically to develop better tasting, healthier, affordable bread that keeps value in the place it was produced.

Dr Thierry Vrain is a molecular biologist and founder of Innisfree Botanical Garden on Vancouver Island. After decades spent in academia, he has taken his scientific background into a more practical and educational approach, as an organic gardener and teacher. He advocates that we should “pay more and eat less” in our food systems.

Richard Gantlett is a biodynamic farmer based at Yatesbury House Farm near Wiltshire, England. He has recently completed a thesis on high biomass rotation and its impact on soil health, weed burden and crop production. He advocates that each farm should be treated differently, creating a range of outcomes which would make agriculture and our food systems, more versatile and adaptable to change.


The event starts at 7.30pm and will run for 60-90 minutes. It will be live-streamed on Facebook and Twitter and archived to our YouTube Channel Laddie TV. 

We’d welcome your comments and questions, so please follow the links below to watch and comment wherever you are happiest, and use the hashtag #whiskyisagriculture. 

Facebook: Panel: Whisky in a Changing Climate live stream


You Tube:

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We encourage you to enjoy our single malts responsibly.