Cargill opens UK wheat processing plant
A new £75m (€94m) wheat processing plant that will use
750,000t of UK-grown feed wheat has been officially opened by food processing
giant Cargill in Trafford Park, Manchester, UK.
The plant has previously used imported maize as its feedstock, but a decision
was taken to convert the plant after a strategic review of Cargill's European
glucose and starch production, says the firm's Frank van Lierde.
a long term decision - you don't spend £75m otherwise - based on a combination
of cost, efficiency and our commitment to meeting the changing needs and demands
of our customers."
The plant will provide a valuable new outlet for wheat
farmers in the UK, he suggests, and in the process reduce the UK's wheat
exportable surplus and reliance on export markets.
All the wheat will be
sourced from UK growers through Frontier. Up to 200,000t will come from Frontier's Manchester Gold club members,
says Jon Duffy, Frontier's grain director. "The rest of the wheat will come from
the open market."
But the 1500
Manchester Gold club members can expect preferential treatment. "Growers signing
up make no commitment, but we make certain commitments to them. For example,
they will get preferential movement terms, load analysis within 24 hours and
more regular market information."
Contracts are available to supply the
plant through the club, he says. "The biggest is the Gold standard. That's a
minimum-price contract where the farmer can benefit from any upward rise in the
The firm is also offering a flexi-contract, where farmers
can opt for harvest movement, but price the wheat at a later date for a minimal
storage fee. "It means he doesn't have to pay any upfront storage
The wheat being used by the plant
is simply feed wheat with the usual specification - 15% moisture content,
72kg/hl specific weight, Mr Duffy confirms.
But as the plant gains more
understanding of what it can do with specific varieties that might change.
Research is analysing starch levels from different varieties.
Source: Farmers Weekly
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