The fourth Camgrain APC will be fully commissioned with powerful drying and intake for harvest 2013 following completion of its second phase of construction. The Northants APC, a two year build operational since harvest 2012, has been supplying quality group 1 wheat to local consumers. This harvest Camgrain farmers will be delivering quality wheat direct from the combine onto the doorstep of over 1.25 million tonnes of local demand from the premium brand food industry situated in the East Midlands. The project was awarded £4.39m of grant in 2011 from the Rural Development Program for England 2007-13, administered by the East Midlands office of DEFRA.
With grain handling facilities on many farms becoming outdated, growers co-operating with fellow producers can use the economies of scale via central storage to add value to their grain. "Building large capacity storage units such as 7,000t silos or 50,000t flat stores reduces the cost per tonne stored significantly, this introduces opportunity to add very high quality infrastructure not seen on farm stores, such as clean wheat plants or colossal high capacity drying; the latter ensuring members have best opportunity to capture quality instead of standing expensive harvesting machinery during a difficult harvest" says Philip Darke, Managing Director of Camgrain. "The benefits of being able to cut at high moisture are well known by Camgrain members, who not only capture quality, but also gain maximum opportunity to drill the following crop on time".
Supply chains of locally sourced crops have been under pressure this year following the difficult 2012 harvest. Some very high profile contracts have failed, with both bread and breakfast cereal manufacturers either ceasing production or switching to imported wheat. All Camgrain supply agreements have remained unaffected by these difficulties, demonstrating their robustness.
"We are seeing an increase in the requirement for Camgrain grain processed before delivery to the end consumer" says Philip Darke "Provenance is also becoming more important. Some of our biggest customers, which include all Sainsbury's in-store bakeries, have expressed a preference for dealing with one professional supplier with very high quality control standards, rather than individual growers.