9 August 2002

Milling wheat contract joy

MEMBERS of Centaur grain, the UKs largest farmer-owned supplier of committed grain, look set to benefit from a two-year extension of the groups contract with baker Warburtons.

Originally started in 1998 with an order for 5000t of Hereward milling wheat, the deal now covers 80,000t of this seasons crop and will rise to 106,000t by 2004, says Centaurs director of trading Graham Lacey.

"This is almost certainly the largest milling wheat contract ever placed in the UK." Much of the wheat was previously sourced from abroad.

Chief executive Jonathan Cowens, says the premium paid by the group for Hereward last season was a guaranteed £20/t above feed wheat pool values.

Alastair Dickie, director of crop marketing at the HGCA, says farmers should search out local grain contracts that pay premiums. "There are some interesting deals available out of the mainstream. A million niches add up to a total market." &#42