By Farmers Weekly staff

SCOTLANDS biggest animal feed supplier, Aberdeenshire-based Harbro, has joined forces with the Strathclyde Chemical Company in a bid to bring greater competition into the feed block market.

With 80% of the 50,000t a year trade in the hands of just one manufacturer (Rumenco), Harbro sales director, Graham Baxter, believes farmers and merchants will welcome a strong challenger.

The new joint venture company will be known as Strathclyde Nutrition. Until now, Harbro has concentrated on supplying compound feeds, blends and straights.

Turnover in the year to March 2000 is expected to be about 35m.

Feed blocks and buckets will be made at Strathclydes plant in Johnstone near Glasgow. SCC began production there in the late 1980s and is now the second largest player in the 12.5m market.

Mr Baxter said the aim was to double Strathclydes 10% market share.

Harbro technical director, Peter Kenyon, says the deal highlights the companies confidence that feed blocks will not be banned under the Feedingstuffs Regulation.