Camgrain secures additional funding to finance new central storage facility in Kettering

AN East Anglia-based farmers’ storage co-operative is celebrating after securing additional funding to finance the development of its new central storage facility in Kettering,

Camgrain Stores, the UK’s largest farmer-owned central storage co-operative, has moved its banking facilities to HSBC’s Midlands Corporate team.

Work on Camgrain’s 70,000 tonne Northants Advanced Processing Centre (APC), the company’s fourth such processing unit, began in March on a new 48 acre green field site and is expected to be fully completed within two years, although it will be operational for this year’s harvest. It will serve the arable sector across the Midlands and East Midlands and will fit in strategically alongside facilities in Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire, creating a network across Central England for processing more than 400,000 tonnes of UK farmers’ grain, pulses and oilseeds annually.

The new banking relationship is led by John Barker, HSBC Corporate Agrifood Manager within the HSBC Midlands Corporate team. Phillip Alton, partner at law firm Gately’s Birmingham office, advised HSBC on the deal.

Camgrain, which is based in Cambridge, was founded in 1983 to enable farmers to store arable crops more efficiently and do away with the need for investment in on-farm storage.

Grain crops are moved from the farm to the centres, where they can be processed, preserved and delivered to the food industry. The Northants project has been awarded a �4.39million grant from the Rural Development Programme for England funded jointly by the European Union and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

John Barker, HSBC’s Corporate Agrifood Manager said: “The deal was completed in a short timeframe and emphasises the service HSBC can offer. We made sure we understood the customer’s requirements and objectives and ensured that we put in place a finance package that is flexible and sustainable.”

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Allan Wilkinson, HSBC’s Head of Agriculture, added: “Our partnership with Camgrain will support this strategically important development, bringing central storage facilities to even more farmers across East Anglia and the Midlands. We are pleased to welcome Camgrain to HSBC and look forward to working closely with the cooperative to help it meet its goals in years to come. Helping the farming industry move closer to its customers in the food chain remains a key objective for us and this is such a great example across the whole of UK Agriculture.”

Camgrain managing director Philip Darke said: “We were impressed with the expertise of HSBC’s Agricultural team; they understand the farming industry and are prepared to take a long-term view, which is extremely important to our business and farmers.

“The new food store is integral to Camgrain’s future strategy and that is why we selected HSBC as our banking partner. With very high drying capacity the store gives farmers the option of being able to keep the combines rolling in times when they would otherwise be forced to stop in hope of more favourable weather. This in turn allows the Camgrain member to capture the maximum quantity of quality grain no matter what the weather.”