19 November 1999

£4m barley complex planned

PLANS to build a £4m malting barley complex at Kings Lynn have been unveiled.

The project, a three-way venture between Dalgety Arable, Associated British Ports and SEFA, a Norfolk-based farmer marketing group, will help to improve access to more distant markets, says Dalgety.

ABP will build the 25,000t complex within the dock area. The site will service Dalgetys domestic market in the south, and offers improved access to boats serving more distant markets, including Scotland and mainland Europe.

"Barley will be delivered straight into the new facility, avoiding the need to handle it in internal stores," says Dalgetys commercial director Andrew Barnard. "It will improve our efficiency and competitiveness, which should help farmers incomes."

SEFA committee member Stephen Bett believes the move will attract more growers into the group, to which Dalgety supplies marketing advice. It currently has 70 members.

The news comes just a couple of weeks after Dalgety announced it was expanding its arable operations, following the sale of six feed mills to Associated British Foods.

It has since closed its Leicester mill and sold the distribution business to ABFs main rival, BOCM Pauls, which has switched feed manufacture to its other sites. Dalgety is thought to be close to clinching a deal on the two remaining mills at Peterborough and Wrexham.

In the same week, Dalgety acquired the assets and goodwill of north-west firm Clear-Crop, which supplies agronomy services and agrochemicals to arable and grassland farmers in Lancs and Cheshire, an area where Dalgety staff have been thin on the ground. &#42