The International Milling Directory’s sister magazine, Grain & Feed Milling Technology, covered the Milling Wheat Challenge last year. There is excitement in the announcement of this year’s competition. Launched by nabim and HGCA in the United Kingdom once again, we hope many users of the International Milling Directory appreciate this news and content; a blog from the HGCA below:–
Martin Savage, nabim‘s Trade Policy Manager said “The competition has gone from strength to strength. In the past four years, it has discovered an amazing group of finalists who are at the forefront of UK wheat production. The winners have each shown that they are progressive in their business as well as their crop husbandry and that they can consistently grow quality crops of bread-making wheats.”
The competition has become established as a way for Britain’s flour millers to formally recognise the value of the country’s best growers to the processing trade.
We are committed to working with UK wheat growers and we are looking for farmers who combine attention to detail with end-customer awareness and business acumen to create a win: win for the whole wheat chain” Martin said.
“Growing quality wheat consistently is a difficult task which requires best practice in growing, storage and delivery to meet the exacting standards of the milling trade.”
HGCA is pleased to be supporting the competition as a way of promoting best practice in both the growing and the marketing of milling wheat. Richard Laverick from HGCA said: “Our aim is to find growers who have a good understanding of their end market, their business costs and an ability to reflect both in their marketing of milling wheat.”
Entry forms are available via the nabim and HGCA websites. The closing date for entries will be Friday, 2 May 2014 and the three finalists will be announced at the Cereals Event on 11 June. On-farm judging of the finalists will take place in late June. The competition judges are Martin Savage from nabim, Richard Laverick from HGCA and Mark Ireland, a Lincolnshire Farmer and former “Farmers Weekly Arable Farmer of the Year”.
The three finalists in the 2013 Milling Wheat Challenge were Stephen Craggs, East Close Farm, Sedgefield, Stockton-on-Tees, James Loder-Symonds, Denne Hill Farm, Womenswold, Canterbury, Kent and Nick & David Philip, Church Farm, Waltham St Lawrence, Reading, Berkshire. The overall winner was Stephen Craggs.
Mark Ireland said that “All three finalists were very good producers of quality wheat” and he added that what set Stephen Craggs apart was his total commitment to detail. “Despite faming with a challenging climate he has developed a simple yet robust system to produce consistent quality. On top of a very strong business, his technical insight and attention to detail gave him the edge. He also has a very rational approach to risk management as well as a proactive approach to going beyond the basics of what a miller wants from a grower.”
Martin Savage urged growers to enter the competition, explaining: “The Challenge is a great way for growers to engage with the supply chain. UK flour millers remain committed to our farmers.”
The finalists, their partners and an additional guest, together with leaders from the UK wheat supply chain, will be invited to a celebration dinner hosted by nabim in October at the Ritz Hotel in London where the overall winner will be announced.