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UK: Openfield sees grain volume hit by poor harvest

11:00 09 March 2014

James Dallas of Openfield

James Dallas of Openfield

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Farmer-owned grain marketing and farm inputs business Openfield Group has reported operating profits of £1.65million for the financial year to June 30. Group turnover fell 8% to £710m on the back of higher average commodity prices offset by a 16% lower volume of grain handled. The poor 2012 harvest meant export markets for UK crops disappeared. Profits before tax fell from £2.6m in 2012 to break-even in 2013, it said.

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Richard Jenner of OpenfieldRichard Jenner of Openfield

“The results confirm our continued progress to building a solid business that places the farmer at the heart of the grain supply chain while capturing value for our members and delivering excellent service to our supply chain customers,” said Openfield chief executive officer James Dallas.

“Never was our support for UK farmers more important than in the aftermath of one of the poorest harvests in recent times. Conscious of the difficulty many UK farmers had with their poor quality grains, Openfield determined, as a policy, to work tremendously hard to market those crops in the most advantageous way possible from a members’ perspective. This undoubtedly had a negative impact on our profitability but it is entirely consistent with our co-operative principles.”

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