Diageo, a UK-based multinational alcoholic beverage company, has assured Scottish barley growers of purchasing the grains from the country, provided the quantity is adequate for its production needs.

The company is currently the biggest buyer of grain in Scotland with around 28 distilleries.

Diageo procurement director Andy Roberts was quoted by scotsman.com as saying that they plan to build another two major distilleries as part of their five-year £1bn investment programme.

"We are looking at between 5 and 10 per cent annual growth in the whisky market and if Scotland can supply malting barley for that then we shall be buying," he added.

Speaking to the members of the Scottish Agronomy co-operative, Roberts said that the company’s main aim is to produce sufficient whisky that meets the growing needs of world markets.

He also admitted that if the grains were not sufficient for its production needs, they would purchase it from a third party.

A Scottish Agronomy member, who was concerned with the statement, asked if Scotch whisky could be made with malt bought in England using English-grown grain, as the demand for English maltsters used in beer production is not much.

Roberts told the website that he is not sure of Scottish cereal growers to supply the required grain, but assured to purchase the grain only after confirming that the supply will be more than the demand.