A new market-focused organisation that aims to deliver greater value across the grain supply chain could benefit the baking industry. Ten farmer-owned central storage co-operatives from across the UK have joined forces to create NetworkGrain UK.

Neil Adams, a regional mana-ger at the English Farming & Food Partnership, who has been involved with the formation of NetworkGrain, said the baking industry could benefit from more deals similar to the one that Sainsbury’s has with Camgrain and Whitworth Bros. Last autumn, Camgrain signed a two-year contract with Whitworth Bros to supply the wheat milled for Sainsbury’s in-store bakery flour. Adams said the result was assured quality and a pre-agreed delivery schedule. "There is a level of commitment to these arrangements and they mean bakers get exactly what they need. It’s also good for bakers looking for provenance."

NetworkGrain UK predicts a rapid expansion in the network approach. It believes 10% of total UK grain production will be centrally stored within the next five years, with 50% of this marketed under long-term supply deals.

The organisation’s chairman designate John Latham said the network would offer end-user customers access to the largest concentration of centrally stored and processed grain in the UK and offer unparalleled levels of service and product consistency.