Farmers encouraged to buy local grain, says UFU

Thursday, 14 March, 2019

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging livestock farmers to buy local grain saying that it makes good business sense to have a shorter supply chain.

UFU seeds and cereals chairman, David Matthews said, “When farmers buy local grain they can be confident they are getting some of the best quality grain grown right on their doorstep. Using and processing feed from the same source provides consistency to a balanced diet rather than potentially having four separate loads delivered from four different corners of the globe. It makes good business sense to buy local.  From a marketing perspective, it also adds provenance to your product when you can say your animals are fed with locally sourced NI Farm Quality Assured grain.”

The UFU says not only does it make good business sense but also benefits the environment, as buying locally grown grain will help to reduce a farm businesses carbon footprint and also boost its environmental credentials.

UFU beef and lamb chairman, Sam Chesney said, “Climate change and the environment are major concerns at the moment. This is one way farmers can do their bit. Buying local means you can deal directly with local businesses/growers, I encourage those with grain and those who need grain to do business over the coming weeks and furthermore put in place plans for longer-term supply chain arrangements.  I would encourage beef and lamb farmers who are looking to purchase grain to support their arable neighbours and buy direct from them.   Talk to local grain growers and discuss your needs and possible options.”

Mr Mathews said, “You may be able to agree a price to forward buy or supply tonnage over a prolonged period of time. Some growers may also be able to supply the grain processed. Buying local grain is win-win for both livestock and arable farmers. It injects much needed cash into the rural economy, which is good for Northern Ireland’s farming industry as a whole.”