Oilseed rape growers in northern England who supply the food-quality rapeseed market will soon be able to benefit from lower transport costs by using a new store in South Durham.
The 4,000t store in Sedgefield, available from harvest 2020, is designed specifically for high-oleic, low-linolenic (Holl) varieties and will cut delivery miles and so haulage costs for local farmers.
North Yorkshire farmer Tony Hinch currently delivers his Holl rapeseed crop to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk,160 miles away.
“This new store is half the distance, so will make a big difference. It will significantly reduce our haulage costs,” said Mr Hinch, who farms near Selby.
The convenience of the Sedgefield store will mean growers can earn a minimum premium of £25/t for Holl crops moved post-harvest, without incurring hefty transport costs.
The growth in demand for healthier foods has increased the use of Holl varieties because of their low levels of saturated fats, with a five-fold rise in the area of Holl crops, up to 75,000ha, expected to be planted in the next five years.
Mr Hinch says he has grown Holl oilseed rape varieties for couple of years as the premium price makes the crop worthwhile.
“This year’s crop is looking well. We expect to start harvesting in about three weeks and are hoping for around 4.5t/ha, which is on par with our 10-year average,” he added.
Chris Baldwin, managing director of United Oilseeds, explains that his co-operative members (and non-members) will be able to use the store, which is located at a site owned by haulage company Ray Craggs.
“There is a strong domestic market for Holl varieties and a good export market, as British Holl OSR is high-quality, sustainable and extremely profitable,” he said.