Camgrain starts work on new advanced processing centre for grain

WORK has started on a new farmer-owned grain storage and processing site in Northamptonshire which is seen as a “game-changing” development for the arable sector in East Anglia and the Midlands.

Groundworks are being completed on Camgrain’s Northamptonshire-based 19 hectare Advanced Processing Centre (APC) site.

The main steel structures are set to go up in March, ensuring that the new site is operational for harvest 2012 and completed in 2013. The centre will be owned and operated by Camgrain, a farmer-owned grain storage co-operative, with marketing and development services provided from grain co-operative Openfield.

The energy-efficient facility will become the fourth APC store owned by Camgrain Farmers 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 project – to build a 70,000 tonne store over a two-year build programme – has been awarded a �4.39million grant from the Rural Development Programme for England funded jointly by the European Union and the Departmetn for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Within a radius of 25 miles of the site, there is annual consumer demand for more than 1.25 million tonnes of combinable crops.

“The site is ideally placed adjacent to the new Corby link road, construction of which gets underway shortly. A new roundabout is to be built directly in front of the Northants APC as part of this new road. From here Northants APC has trunk road access onto the A14 linking East Anglia with the Midlands,” said Openfield’s Head of Central Stores, Rob Sanderson.

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“This is a significant development for both Camgrain and Openfield that will drive member returns through delivering products that match the exacting needs of our end-user customers.

“Access to the Camgrain four-site APC network means that by moving the crop direct from farm to the store closest to the point of consumption we can offer customers a managed supply with minimal risk of disruption and total control over security, food safety and logistics. These facts mean farmers no longer need to invest in on-farm storage facilities that still lack the scale needed to offer security of supply, economies of scale or attract associated premiums. In addition the APC will be able to deliver genuine vendor assured products to tight British Retail Consortium (BRC) contract specifications. These clear benefits take Camgrain, in partnership with Openfield, to a position of market leadership in the supply of food ingredients sourced from combinable crops.

“For both farmers and food processors, the APC network offers a win-win solution in the bid to replace imports with UK origin crops. In short, farmers sending their crops to Camgrain will move from the position of ordinary supplier to one having the status of a key partner. It is the model for a farmer-owned and operated co-operative offering a complete supply chain solution and represents a sustainable approach to growth,” he said.

Camgrain Managing Director Philip Darke said: “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.”