Openfield Agriculture has exported what it claims is the largest cargo of feed barley ever to leave the UK.
The 66,000 tonne consignment was loaded around the clock over five days through the co-operative’s deep-water Portbury Grain Terminal facility, which is operated by the Bristol Port Company. The Panamax class vessel MV Great Dragon 9 sailed for Saudi Arabia on the December 2nd. The journey, via the Suez Canal, is expected to take three weeks.
The consignment required 2,276 lorry loads of grain, supplied from more than 250 farmers and merchants. Intake by road peaked at 8,500 tonnes/day utilising the terminal’s two intake pits plus the new third intake lane introduced for harvest 2015. The vessel was loaded by mobile ship loader both direct from the intakes and using material already delivered to store.
Portbury staff tested each load, with quality and weight details of each load tipped uplifted directly into the Openfield operating database, allowing suppliers live and full visibility of the results as their grain was delivered.
“Although the consignment is the first shipment to Saudi Arabia from the UK this season, it follows Openfield’s programme from last season and highlights the growing confidence Saudi buyers have in sourcing part of their annual 8million tonne requirement direct from the UK’s leading farmer-owned business,” says an Openfield spokesman.