What is believed to be the UK’s biggest bagged seed store will come on stream this harvest at Dunns’ headquarters at Long Sutton, Lincolnshire.
The 4200m2 building represents a near £1m investment for Dunns, one of the UK’s largest agricultural seed processors and the country’s leading edible pulses processor.
The new store will hold 5000t of bagged product, taking site capacity to a massive 13,500t. It will benefit both sides of the business, said director in charge Stuart Shand.
It will be used to store cereal and pulse seed destined for UK farms during the season as well as edible pulse products – the company supplies about 40,000t a year of peas and beans to human consumption markets worldwide. Speaking at the recent official opening of the store and new offices to house Dunns’ growing workforce, Mr Shand said: “The new building along with other recent improvements including a new computer system, two new seed treatment plants and other plant upgrades will help meet the needs of Dunns’ farmer customers for the next 10 years.
“We can move seed crops more efficiently off farm and we can get treated seed back out to our wholesale customers more quickly,” he added.
The store was opened by Thierry Blandinières, chief executive of InVivo, one of Europe’s largest traders of grain and crop inputs and joint owner of Gleadell, which acquired Dunns in 2012.
The opening followed an address by David Caffall, AIC chief executive, who recognised Dunns’ recent accreditation under the European Seed Treatment Assurance (ESTA) scheme, one of just five UK companies to have joined. He urged the whole industry to follow to help head off further legislation in the sector. Like the rest of Dunns’ premises, the store is also certified to environmental standard ISO 14001.
Mr Shand stressed the importance of Gleadell’s investment in Dunns and in ongoing improvements, firmly believing that seed, and the traits it could deliver, is where the future lay.
“GM is often talked about, but traditional breeding techniques can deliver agronomic benefits, such as drought, pest and disease resistance, energy and cost savings for processors and health and taste benefits for consumers.
“Our grain and pulse customers as well as supermarkets are enquiring about this new technology, and the public are starting to ask questions.”
Supply chain agreements between breeders and retailers would become increasingly common for any produce with such qualities, said Mr Shand. “Any merchant business without a function in seed is going to struggle.”
For further information contact: Stuart Shand, director in charge, Dunns 01427 421227 or email@example.com