Farmers who grow oilseed rape in northern England can now access a profitable new market thanks to a new store for HOLL (High Oleic, Low Linolenic) oilseed at Ray Craggs Ltd, in Sedgefield.
The 4,000 tonne store will be available from harvest 2020 for members and non-members of the farmer-owned cooperative United Oilseeds.
Oil from HOLL crops is increasing in popularity due to rising demand for healthier frying oil from the food business sector.
United Oilseeds is expecting to see a five-fold increase in area of HOLL varieties planted from the current 14,000 hectares to 75,000 hectares over the next five years.
Until now, the cost of transporting harvested crops to store had been a barrier for many farmers in northern England.
But the convenience of a store in Sedgefield means growers will earn a minimum £25.00/tonne premium for producing HOLL crops which are moved post-harvest. For movement during harvest the premium is £20.00/tonne.
Chris Baldwin, United Oilseeds’ managing director, said: “There have been recent changes in the local market, with some oilseed buyers having left the market, or changed their marketing requirements.
“This new HOLL-specific store, with its convenient location, will reduce delivery miles and haulage costs for local farmers. It also improves our capacity for harvest collection.”
Tony Hinch, of Aire and Ouse Farms near Selby, currently delivers his HOLL crop into Bury St Edmunds, 160 miles away.
He said: “This new store is half the distance so will make a big difference. It will significantly reduce our haulage costs.”
HOLL oilseed rape is a specialist crop grown for the food industry due to its low level of saturated fats. The oil is increasingly in demand from food processors and foodservice companies looking to reduce levels of saturated fat in their products, in response to consumer demand for healthier food.
Mr Baldwin said: “There is a strong domestic market for HOLL oilseed oil, and a good export market. British HOLL oilseed rape is high quality, sustainable and extremely profitable.
“High oil content varieties offer opportunities for good oil bonuses too. The crop makes good financial sense where growers are looking for high returns from a winter break crop.”
Any HOLL oilseed purchased through United Oilseeds that does not establish before 15 September is eligible for the company’s free replacement seed scheme, subject to certain conditions.
Mr Hinch grows HOLL oilseed rape because of the premium that it attracts.
He said: “We’ve grown HOLL for a couple of years and the premium for the healthy oil makes it worth growing. This year’s crop is looking well. We expect to start harvesting in around three weeks and are hoping for around 4.5t/ha, which is on par with our 10-year average.”