ADM shows faith in Group 3 buy-back deals

ADM Milling says interest in its buy-back contracts will increase as more growers reap the benefits of high-yield Group 3 wheat.

The firm is now offering buy-back contracts for Torch for the 2013 harvest a high-yield winter wheat variety developed by wheat breeder RAGT last year. When milled into flour, it is supplied to United Biscuits (UB), for use in its well-known brands, including McVitie's, Carrs and Jacob's.

United Biscuits and ADM Milling teamed up on the project last summer, with the aim of improving stocks of soft milling wheat for biscuits in the UK. It followed concerns about a big fall in Group 3 plantings in the UK as farmers switched to higher-yielding feed wheat.

Mark Ringrose, trading manager at ADM, said: "Through our merchant arm, ADM Direct, farmers are approached and asked if they would grow this variety. It is then bought back by ADM Milling to supply to UB."

He said it offered an agreed premium, over the London futures price. "Growers have the opportunity to grow one of the highest-yielding varieties on the [HGCA] Recommended List with an attractive contract to supply a major UK food manufacturer."

He said some growers have questioned the value of growing Group 3 wheat over the last few years, but this initiative would support the sustainability of the Group 3 area in the UK. "It is something we're going to see more of in the future, with interest coming from flour customers."

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