Farmers’ co-operative United Oilseeds Producers has announced a record redistribution of profits to its trading members. A total of £420,000 will be paid back to members for the year end 30 June 2015.
Speaking at a Press conference in Newbury, Berkshire, United Oilseeds Managing Director Chris Baldwin, said: “Despite the challenging trading conditions our sector has experienced over the last 12 months, we are delighted to be able to make a fourth consecutive record redistribution of profits to our members. It is also the tenth redistribution of profits we have made in consecutive years.”
“As a co-operative owned entirely by its members, United Oilseeds primary aim is to help improve the profitability of members’ individual businesses. With farm incomes down and the market still relatively depressed, this repayment shows how our co-operative supports its members by delivering outstanding value even in unfavourable economic conditions.”
Mr Baldwin reported that profits to the year end 30 June 2015 were up slightly from £1,468,000 in 2014 to £1,484,570 whilst turnover increased from £163,136,000 in 2014 to £165,406,163 in 2015.
Over the same period the company’s net worth increased from £7,982,000 to £8,334,000 which underlines the value of the company’s assets, products and services.
Mr Baldwin also pointed to the success of United Oilseeds seed sales and in particular the progress of High Oleic Low Linolenic (HOLL) oilseed rape. “We have seen the market for HOLL expand, both in the UK and Europe. Around 40,000 hectares has been planted in the UK this year and we have achieved a 28% share of this market from a standing start,” he said.
Looking ahead, Mr Baldwin said that trading conditions for farmers were likely to be challenging during 2016, with the oilseed rape market likely to remain tough. Consequently HOLL rape, which offers growers a guaranteed minimum premium, represents a significant opportunity.
“Our survey amongst our own oilseed rape growers shows the average OSR yield at harvest was 3.85 tonnes per hectare giving an estimated production figure of 2.42 million tonnes.
“We estimate the area planted for harvest 2016 is down 14.9% on 2015 and we estimate UK OSR production for 2016 harvest may be as low as two million tonnes, which would represent a reduction of 17.35%.
“In what is our fiftieth year, United Oilseeds remains firmly committed to the co-operative ethos and delivering independent choice and value to our members. Increasing our net worth helps to ensure we can maintain our independence and making the largest profits redistribution in our history shows how growers can benefit from membership.”