Organic Arable have been working in partnership with Whites Oats to produce organic oats for milling for over 7 years. We work together to produce high quality oats, the aim being to produce an oat grain that mills better and produces a higher quality oat flake and to take waste out of the supply chain. Growers are rewarded for the quality of the oats grown with premiums paid for Kernel Content, Moisture and Screenings.
Screenings - Screenings are waste. They are removed before the oats are milled and go into the Oatfeed bin. Oatfeed is sold into the conventional market an so the loss in value is significant.
Moisture - Drier oats produce a tastier oat flake. There is deterioration of oats even at 15% moisture which will
Kernel Content - Kernel Content determines the yield of flakes from the grain processed. The higher the Kernel Content the more, larger flakes are produced.
This means our contract specification is higher than the commodity milling oat specification but you're paid for the higher quality and are part of a winning team as Whites Organic Jumbo Oats won the Q Award Best Breakfast Product 2019.
Agronomic Support & Trials
You are not alone. In order to assist growers we run a trials to help build a better understanding as to how to grow better quality oats. You can draw on the knowledge and experience of the existing growers, the Organic Arable team and Whites' Supply Chain Manager, Sean.
The trials are supported by a levy raised from growers and this is doubled by Whites to provide a budget for this research activity. It's unusual that a buyer will fund the work that means vthey could pay more or the grain they buy!
Whilst there are now varietal specification on the contract there is good evidence about which varieties do not perform well and advice can be given as to which varieties will give the best premium.
This relationship works best when growers learn about the quality of the grain required and accept the support available to meet these expectations. In order to encourage continuity of supply growers are paid a "Loyalty Bonus".
Every year we host a meeting to disseminate information and update growers about the oat market as well as getting together with the Whites staff to share experience and knowledge. Having the opportunity to meet and talk with the buyer of your grain is area real benefit of this working relationship.
This is a great example of collaboration in the supply chain to fulfil demand for a quality product. Demand continues to grow and we are always happy to talk to farmers who would like to be involved and grown organic oats for Whites.