ForFarmers opens redeveloped UK feed mill

ForFarmers has officially opened its animal feed mill in Exeter, England, after a two-year rebuild and restructuring process.

Courtesy ForFarmers

Rebuilt facility is more energy efficient and has more than twice the output capacity as previous mill

ForFarmers has officially opened its animal feed mill in Exeter, England, after a two-year rebuild and restructuring process.

The mill’s redevelopment cost GBP10 million (US$12.2 million) and more than doubled its output capacity to 300,000 tons of animal feed per year. The new facility is 15 meters taller than the previous mill and utilizes a new, energy-efficient vertical feed conveyor transport system, which will also increase product quality.

“One of the key aims for ForFarmers in the U.K. is to improve the productivity and efficiency of our mills,” said ForFarmers U.K. Chief Operating Officer Steven Read. “The investments that we have made at Exeter have been geared around not only improving the quality and efficiency of how we produce feed on-site, but also delivery to our customers. For example, the new out-loading facility that has been installed utilizes pre-loaded feed bins and has cut discharge of feed into delivery vehicles from 90 minutes to 90 seconds – reducing delivery times and enabling a higher of volume of customer deliveries each day.”

An official opening and tour was held for farmers on September 21, featuring demonstrations of the new state-of-the-art loading and blending systems.

“The redevelopment is an exciting step forward and after years of hard work and significant financial investment, it is great to see the Exeter mill running to its full potential,” Read said. “The redevelopments will have a really positive impact on our U.K. business as a whole, but especially our southwest-based customers.”

Plans to increase efficiency, modernize mills

This year, ForFarmers announced its efficiency plans to decrease the group operating costs by EUR10 million (US$11.2 million) in 2021, versus 2018. These plans include its intention to rationalize the supply chain in terms of modernizing existing mills and in its footprint of site locations.

In August, ForFarmers Group reported what it called “disappointing” results for the first half of 2019. The European farmers cooperative reported a 61.5% decline in underlying profit, to EUR11.9 million (US$13.2 million), and a 1.7% drop in gross profit, to EUR214.1 million.

According to Feed Strategy magazine’s Top Feed Companies issue, ForFarmers N.V. was the world’s eighth-largest animal feed producer and the largest in Europe, with more than 10 million metric tons of production and 40 feed mills in 2018.

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