Symprove is an entirely natural product underpinned by a process of germinating barley. Once upon a time I was a farmer and I still maintain our family allotment. It is because of this heritage that we, at Symprove, understand what it takes to produce the raw materials we require for our manufacturing process. It strikes me, as I read about the global shift towards city living, that fewer and fewer people have a grounded understanding of how produce gets from the field to plate, and I find this concerning.

A few months past the annual harvest with the crops safely tucked away, farmers should have a feeling of contentment – they can feed their stock, their families and the community at large. Here at Symprove we are most interested to learn about the quality of the Barley that has been harvested this Autumn.

Did you know that the first incarnation of Symprove (back in the 1980’s) was actually a bulk animal feed for cattle. We would take the barley, germinate it and then pickle these germinated grains with active bacteria to create a very clean and effective animal food. We found that this feedstock could compete with the industry standard anti-biotic laced animal feeds of the day in terms of both animal health and growth, but without any of the negative side effects. This was the beginning of 25 years of further research and development and refinement. There’s a lot that goes into our production process these days, but the contribution of the barley can not be underestimated.

When you germinate grain there is an increase in amino-acid availability of around 10% and enzymes and vitamins levels shoot up several hundred percent in some cases. These health benefits are there even before you take in to consideration our bacterial cocktail and they have been understood for centuries. Gladiators were fed barley to increase strength and were referred to as “hordeari” or “barley eaters”. And still today, in modern agriculture, barley is still one of the concentrates used to support growth in high quality animals for the meat market.

As the farmers’ work for this year is nearly done, so our fieldsman will be out checking for the best barley samples, verifying the source fields and ensuring proper growing standards have been met. In particular we ask that they check for a high level of germination, the germination (which in simple terms means an opening of the barley husk) is critical as we need maximum surface area to host our growing our bacteria. I’ll explain a little more about our bacteria and their strengths in future. Suffice to say – we work very hard to create the perfect conditions for them to thrive.

So, if Symprove helps you, spare a thought for our growers and fieldsmen without whom we couldn’t bring you such a premium product.

Barry Smith

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