For your information the planning permission for the new mill over near Tandragee has been granted which is very exciting. The planning system in Northern Ireland differs from GB as it allows objections to be raised when permission has been granted and so there is now a period in which objections to the permission can be raised and would then need to be considered by the planning authority.
Several of you have been in touch to ask about the Whites contract for the 2023 harvest. This is something that we have been working on with Sean and had anticipated getting something out in late March. Two recent event have delayed things. Firstly, the recent market volatility had given Whites pause for thought. They have been concerned this season that some of their customers have take the the opportunity to source cheaper flakes elsewhere and so recent falls in the conventional market gave concerns that contracted oats might again be expensive in the market putting pressure on demand. Added to this a cheap cargo of old crop, Baltic origin oats were offered at a Sterling value equivalent to about £280 delivered mill.
Whilst Whites value the provenance of GB grown oats they are not immune to commercial realities and contracting at high values may result in a reduction in demand.
We continue to discuss how to calculate the base price should be calculated and aim to get this contract to you as soon as possible.
From the 2024 harvest Whites will be putting greater emphasis on grain quality and seeking to increase the differential between better quality samples and poorer samples.