September 15, 2008


Merger to create one of the largest grain companies in UK


Grainfarmers and Centaur Grain, grain marketing and input supply businesses, have revealed plans to merge into a company which would handle 20 percent of the UK's grain market.


The company, Openfield, would be  controlled by its farmer members and is expected to handle 4 million tonnes of grain a year.


Working with over 7,000 farmers, Openfield will become the third largest supplier in the UK by volume of both seed and fertilisers and proposed chairman Richard Beldam said he hoped the merger would lead to improved efficiencies and value in the supply chain.


He said Openfield will have the flexibility, scale and high level of service which they believe is needed in today’s marketplace to capture improved value across the supply chain.


Increasingly, this level of service can only be achieved by companies that combine a national presence with a scale and structure that ensures efficient continuity of supply to its customers, managed through a network of regional offices, he said.


As major customers continue to grow in size and influence, grain companies have to do the same. Many grain customers are now looking for longer term committed supply contracts and Openfield intends to support these contracts, said Beldam.

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