National independent farmers’ co-operative United Oilseeds Producers has announced a rise in its turnover, profits and net worth.
For the year ending June 30th 2016, turnover rose 6.5%, climbing £10,769,040 from £165,406,163 to £176,175,203 whilst profits were up 2.1% from £1,484,570 to £1,515,739. The co-operative’s net worth also increased, by 16.4%, up £1,369,247 from £8,334,000 to £9,703,247.
In addition, the group reported a 3.2% rise in the tonnage of oilseed rape it traded during the year with the volume of fixed price and pool rape traded rising by over 17,000 tonnes from 523,412 tonnes to 540,690 tonnes.
Speaking at a press conference in Warwick, United Oilseeds Managing Director, Chris Baldwin said: “This performance is very encouraging, particularly as it was achieved against a background of difficult trading conditions and a declining area of planted oilseed rape in the UK.”
“Despite the harvest OSR crop area falling by 8% from 630,000 ha in 2015 to 579,000 ha in 2016, we have managed to increase our traded tonnage, our turnover and profit. Part of the reason we have achieved this increase is the success of our pools marketing, where volumes increased by 46% from 2014 to a traded volume of 223,162 tonnes,“ he continued.
Trading volumes in other commodities were also up with total tonnages increasing by over 56.6% to 64,387 tonnes.
Mr Baldwin went on to announce that the co-operative would be paying a record amount in profit redistribution to trading members for the fifth consecutive year.
“We understand the economic challenges and uncertainty faced by our members and that is why I am delighted to say that we will be making a record profits redistribution payment of £425,000 to trading members for the year end June 2016. In addition to being a record payment, it means that we will have paid pack over £3.85m to members over the last 11 years.”
UOM Crop Predictions
Mr Baldwin said that the UK oilseed rape area for harvest in 2017 will be smaller again, with a 8.25% drop from 579,000 ha in 2016 to 531,000 ha in 2017. Assuming an average yield of 3.5 t/ha, this would give a production figure of 1.86m tonnes next year.
Despite the challenges faced by the crop, Mr Baldwin went on to highlight its particular economic value to farmers, with OSR offering the highest gross margins for any combinable break crop.
“As a national farmers’ co-operative, our core aim is to support our members’ individual businesses and help them become more profitable. With the industry experiencing increasing rationalisation through a number of mergers and acquisitions among huge multinationals in the sector, we are also able to offer our members something increasingly rare – independent advice and choice,” he said.
“Continuing to increase our net worth helps to ensure we can maintain our independence. We are owned and run by farmer members and we are committed to the co-operative ethos.”
During the past financial year, United Oilseeds also invested heavily in a new company-wide IT system that is now on-stream and providing members with significant operational and communications benefits.