A new grain processing and storage facility, opened by Camgrain last week, looks set to benefits millers and bakers across the Midlands.
The Northants Advanced Processing Centre, in Kettering, will aim to ensure security of supply and support 17,000 food-manufacturing jobs across the region.
It was officially opened by Sir Jim Paice, former Defra minister of state for agriculture and MP for south-east Cambridgeshire, along with His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch who sold the site to Camgrain for the development.
Paice said: “This is exactly the type of investment that farmers need to undertake to build sustainable businesses for the long-term. It’s what farmer co-operatives around the world have done and we need more projects like this.”
The development has been welcomed by Sainsbury’s, which is a major customer of Camgrain and Openfield. Earlier this year British Baker reported that Sainsbury’s was to fund a new research project with Camgrain, in a bid to improve efficiencies and quality.
Charlotte Rhodes, business unit director of fresh food at Sainsbury’s, said: “I’m excited to be part of today’s opening, particularly as it comes at a time when British farmers have had such a challenging couple of seasons. We already source around 90,000 tonnes of milling wheat through Openfield and Camgrain each year, which means we can be 100% on the British wheat flour in our in-store bakeries.”
The West Midlands accounts for 20% of the UK’s biscuit production and over 30% of the breakfast cereal production, according to Camgrain. There are also eight major wheat processing plants within a 30-minute radius of the new facility.