UK: African buyers meet cereal farmers at event organised by cereals and levy board HGCA
06:00 23 March 2014
Cereals and oilseeds levy board HGCA has hosted a visit to the UK for buyers from state purchasing agencies in Morocco and Algeria.
The two day visit enabled representatives from both countries to experience the processes involved in the UK’s grain markets, and learn more about farm assured grain.
“The whole supply chain in the UK is very well organised,” said Salima Tacherifet of Algeria.
“We saw the whole traceability in the chain by following the paperwork from the farm to the store to the port and the laboratory.”
ONICL of Morocco and OAIC of Algeria are responsible for the imports of milling wheat into their countries, and have a combined annual import requirement of around 8 million tonnes. The inward missions were designed to help develop and maintain grain exports from the UK.
First on the programme was a visit to HGCA Chairman Jonathan Tipples’ farm in Kent, where delegates saw how grain is produced and looked after on farm. Delegates were then shown around a cooperative grain store and the Port of Tilbury, where they learned more about quality controls and regulations.
Aziz Abdelali, general director of ONICL said: “It’s important for us to see the level of investment in the UK supply chain as this gives us confidence in a professional supply of quality wheat. I would like my colleagues to see what I have seen, and I will urge them to watch this market seriously.”
Salima Tacherifet, head of quality control at OAIC, said: “I don’t normally get to see the quality control checks at the port so this was really useful to see.”
HGCA has worked closely with ONICL and earlier this year was successful in opening up the feed wheat market in Morocco, which had previously been closed by the Moroccan government. BCE has also helped Moroccan biscuit manufacturers import biscuit wheat.
OAIC currently imports all wheat into Algeria through a tender system on which the UK is listed as a supplier.