3 January 2002
US grain group targets UK growers

By Adrienne Francis in Oxford

BRITISH farmers will be targeted by a north American wheat marketing corporation which aims to market grain on an international basis.

Farm Corp International has already signed up 1000 US and Canadian growers to the scheme launched last March.

Its aim is to return members to profitability by marketing large quantities of grain and lobbying government.

President Rick Pender said the scheme was set up to address the “chronic long-term decline in net farm income.”

“External forces are making our farming unprofitable, regardless of what we do, from airfields and golf courses to bison,” he said.

Addressing the Oxford Farming Conference on Thursday (3 January), Mr Pender said the group could help farmers to tackle the problems of external market forces.

“Farmers have to realise that they have a global corporation that can benefit them in many ways, not just in grain.”

Mr Pender said the scheme should be running within two years in the UK subject to recruiting marketing personnel.

Farmers wishing to join the scheme will have to pay about US$800 (550) per two-year period, regardless of the size of their businesses.

There will be no size requirements for membership, “but we obviously need the larger-sized farmers first to get the others to follow on,” he said.