North-east grain co-operative Aberdeen Grain Storage Ltd has signed a marketing agreement with Frontier Agriculture, following its decision earlier this week to end its partnership with Openfield.
The move to Frontier has long been rumoured to be on the cards following the departure of Openfield’s general manager in Scotland, Bruce Ferguson, who at the time managed the grain businesses at both Aberdeen Grain and Angus Cereals at Montrose.
Mr Ferguson is now Frontier’s general manager for Scotland.
Whiterashes-based Aberdeen Grain has storage and drying capacity for 70,000 tonnes of combinable crops, and recently invested £1.25million in a biomass heating system to dry grain.
The co-operative, which was founded in 1984 and has more than 180 members, will start its new marketing agreement with Frontier from harvest 2015.
Chairman Ian Cruickshank said: “As Aberdeen Grain continues to grow we are looking to the future and feel that the time is right to make this change. We are committed to adding value to our members’ businesses, and this move will bring exciting new opportunities for our growers.”
Meanwhile, Angus Cereals has said it has no plans to follow Aberdeen Grain and this week the Angus Cereals and Openfield partnership signed a new supply agreement with Bairds Malt – Scotland’s largest maltster with premises in Arbroath, Inverness and Penciatland.
Openfield, which trades more than 4.5million tonnes in the UK every year, said it was “disappointed” to lose the Aberdeen Grain connection but its strategic objectives remained unchanged.
The new Angus Cereals agreement with Bairds Malt will cover much of the barley dried and stored and at its Montrose site. The silos and flat stores at Montrose have a capacity of over 40,000 tonnes but that includes some wheat and oilseed rape.
The new contract provides for a close working relationship between the two organisations, including ensuring that members grow the varieties most needed by Bairds Malt and that they are processed and segregated accordingly to maximise the amount of grain that can ultimately be delivered.