Growers gain insight into cereal export market

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Around 50 growers were given an insight into the export market, the opportunities that exist and the benefits it could bring to their business at this year’s ‘Meet the Exporter’ days.

For the fifth year, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) invited growers to visit two ports to gain a better understanding of how specification, variety and consistent raw material impacts on exporting cereals.

This year’s events – organised by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds – saw growers travel more than 80 miles to ports in Ipswich and Shoreham.

After tours of both facilities, presentations from port operators, merchants and experts at AHDB gave growers a better understanding of the whole exporting process as well as providing an update on the current market situation.

Andrew Osmond, a grower and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds board member, said: “These Meet the Exporter days encourage growers to go beyond the farm gate and talk to the merchant about what happens to their produce when it arrives at the port.

“I think these days are incredibly important. As growers we get a huge amount out of these events as we learn what merchants are trying to do with our produce and crops and how difficult it can be to market and segregate due to quality specs.”

Over the last ten years the UK has exported wheat and barley to more than 73 countries – valued at £4.2 billion. During the last season the top destination for UK wheat exports was the Netherlands, with Spain coming out top for barley exports.

Emily Blew, Grain Co-ordinator for Harlow Agricultural Merchants, which operates from Ipswich port and joined AHDB to host the event, said: “Exporting for us in the UK is very important. We generally export between 15 and 20% of our annual UK crop, which on average is between two and two-and-a-half million tonnes per year.

“As we know, we are all equally important players in the supply chain. The farmer, the facility operators and the shippers themselves make it work from start to finish. We hope growers walk away from these events with a better understanding of the exporting process and how we can all work together to ensure everyone is happy.”

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