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will comfortably exceed one million tonnes per year. The stated intention is to grow market share and the company is


mills, therefore, in 2016 nearly 900,000 tonnes of compound feed for poultry were produced; this figure represents an increase in production of around 15% since 2014. Of the total, about 65% is destined for 2 Sisters Food Group with the balance going to independent farmers and other poultry producing businesses. In addition to these three mills, and just a week before our visit,


the company had added a fourth compound mill to its portfolio with the acquisition of Bernard Matthews’ Bawsey Mill. Unsurprisingly, this mill has until now been dedicated to the production of turkey feeds; it produces some 4000 tonnes per week although Gavin believes it already has the capacity to increase that figure by 25%. Gavin declares himself to be delighted with this latest development. “Our mills are quite full, especially Stoke Ferry which is operating at capacity week in, week out. Bawsey mill has spare capacity for most of the year until the pre-Christmas peak in demand. Without rushing at it, we may in future put other feed types through in order to utilise this spare capacity, although there will be no quick changes. It is an efficient, simple mill which has been well-run by a great team so it is good to have them on board.” Production from the four compound mills


investing heavily in their facilities in pursuit of that aim. Gavin believes that there has been a history underinvestment in the UK milling industry, including in 2Agriculture where he describes this as having been “severe” under previous ownership. From the outset of the new company there was a determination to change that. The industry as a whole needs to modernise to keep up with retailers’ requirements for biosecure facilities, he says. “In addition, it is very expensive to produce a tonne of feed so it is also important to have the most efficient equipment to keep costs down as the price of energy continues to increase long-term.” Across the 2Agriculture mill portfolio, the initial investment was focussed on elevators and conveyors, which Gavin describes as the “fabric of the mill”. If these are not performing as they should, the efficiency of the whole operation is affected. The next stage of the mill modernisation program will involve very significant amounts of money being spent on feed production machinery over the next two to three years. As a part of this modernisation program, the company has


announced plans to build a new feed mill to replace the one at Edinburgh. The principal driver behind this is that the current location is simply too good! It is literally next door to the city’s airport and, as such, offers great potential to be developed as a hotel and restaurant; indeed, planning consent for this


use is already being sought. This will allow 2Agriculture to invest in a new greenfield site for a modern feed mill somewhere near Rosyth. Frustratingly, negotiations over the site which had been earmarked fell through, but discussions regarding the acquisition of an alternative site are underway and the company are optimistic about the prospects of this proceeding in the relatively near future. They don’t rule out other acquisitions elsewhere further down the line, but for now the focus is to acquire the land for this one new mill and otherwise to invest in and modernise their current plants to make sure they have a stable business which fits the ongoing needs of their customers. The company has also put significant resource into its fleet of


delivery vehicles. While all incoming raw materials are third party hauliers or supplier logistics, all outbound haulage is performed by their own vehicles, and those they inherited when the business was acquired were showing their age. So they have already made a significant investment in new lease vehicles, partnering with Scania, and will continue to keep replacing them with the next chunk of 15 new vehicles arriving in the coming months. “We will continue to focus on poultry feed,” says Gavin. “We’re


not looking to expand into pigs or ruminants. We pride ourselves on our specialist knowledge and expertise based on the background we have evolved from.” Within the company are former broiler operational managers who are farm production experts able to offer advice and assistance to customers. The senior team, comprising the technical director, nutritionist, sales director and production director has over 120 years combined experience of working within the industry.


PAGE 40 MARCH/APRIL 2017 FEED COMPOUNDER Sponsored by B


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