Growers urged to ‘meet the processor’
A series of visits to millers, maltsters and exporters during November aims to give growers a better insight into grain processing and end markets.
The visits are being supported by the HGCA.
Growers would see firsthand why strict grain quality specifications were so important, said Steve Barras, HGCA business improvement manager. Research suggested just 68% of grain deliveries from farm to processor were on time and to specification.
Mr Barras said: “This represents a substantial waste and cost for both growers and processors.”
Companies had been very receptive to showing growers around their facilities and talking through the technical aspects of processing.
The initiative has been welcomed by Andrew Blenkiron, estate director at the 4450ha (11,000 acre) Euston Estate in Suffolk. Knowledge gained from similar visits had helped hone variety choice, batch planting and storage, he said.
“Understanding a processor’s technical and quality requirements is invaluable when it comes to growing and preparing your crop for market.”
“When you see what it takes for a processor to deal with a consignment of grain with a quality issue, you make very sure that it doesn’t come from your farm.”
One of the visits will be to Wrights flour mill in Enfield. Managing director David Wright said previous grower visits had been a great chance to talk face-to-face outside of contractual discussions.
“Once farmers leave they have a much greater appreciation of what we need and why it’s important.”
Levy payers will also be able to visit Stowmarket-based maltster Muntons. Grain value chain specialist Melissa Abbott said the firm wanted to show growers that barley and wheat didn’t just go into beer.
“The grain they produce goes into a huge range of products from beer and whisky to biscuits, cooking sauces and bread.”
“It is important that the grain we receive meets the strict specification required to produce the very good quality products that our customers expect.
“For us, customer service is king – it doesn’t matter how good your products are if you have no customers to sell them to.”
TBC – EDME Ltd, Mistley, Essex
10 November – WH Marriage & Sons, Chelmsford
22 November – Heygates, Bugbrooke, Northampton
23 November – Carrs Flour, Greens, Maldon
25 November – GR Wright & Sons Ltd, Enfield
24 November – Boortmalt, Pauls Malt Ltd, Bury St Edmunds
16 December – Muntons Malt, Stowmarket
17 November – Nidera, Ipswich
29 November – Gleadell, Immingham
Visits are free of charge to levy payers. Places can be booked at www.hgca.com/meettheprocessor or by calling 024 7647 8724.