18 January 2002

French to take linseed

AN exclusive deal with a food company in France to use 40,000t of linseed a year could give the waning crop a much-needed shot in the arm, says Premium Crops Nigel Bazeley.

Traceability is the key to the £170/t ex-farm for buy-back contracts using the companys specific varieties, he explains. "The French company is prepared to pay over the odds for an EU source of traceable linseed. You cant get traceability with imported boatloads from Canada."

Declining area aid and prices of only £90-130/t in recent years saw the UK crop slip to just 29,000ha (71,500 acres) last harvest. But for growers achieving 2.2t/ha (18cwt/acre) at the enhanced price a gross margin of £500/ha (£200/acre) is readily available, says Mr Bazeley. &#42