11 January 1999
Flax makes a comeback

THE rise of flax as a commodity – courtesy of a possible gross income of up tp £1000 per hectare – is reviewed in The Scotsman today (Monday).

The paper reports that new varieties, new growing and processing techniques and new markets have provided the impetus behind its development in the UK.

At the head of this development is Norfolk-based agricultural seed and flax specialist, Gorham & Bateson (Agriculture).

One of the companys sister firms, Guardian Farms, produces 404.7ha (1,000 acres) of flax a year.

Its processing arm, Flax UK, has links with a Belgian processing and marketing group, Procotex.

Procotex handles about 30,000 tonnes of fibre a year, exporting to 50 countries.

Flax UK has built a flax processing factory at Gayton in Norfolk costing £750,000.

One source quoted in the story believes there are too many flax growers interested in just the subsidy.

But there appears to be a real future for flax as a non-food crop and growing it is relatively straightforward.

  • The Scotsman 11/01/99 page 15