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HGCA encourages processors and growers to interact

By Sarah Britton , 17-Sep-2007

The Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) is launching ‘supply chain’ - a new section of its website that will enable manufacturers to communicate with farmers.

The site will also have an ‘email an expert’ section, where manufacturers can gain access to market information. “We want to give people a chance to raise any issues they have,” said a HGCA spokesman. “People with ideas on products or processing can, through the HGCA, gather Dunnhumby sales information, particularly relevant for small and medium enterprises who want to find out about a specific sector. For example, cereal manufacturer Alara could have used the service to identify what the opportunities were for its lifestage nutrition cereals.”

The new additions to the website are a response to three years’ research undertaken by the Cereals Industry Forum, which used Promoting Business Excellence (PROBE) and value chain analysis projects to analyse the effectiveness of the current cereals supply chain. “Farmers and manufacturers do talk to each other, but purely on a practical basis,” said the spokesman. “The harvest in Europe and drought in Australia means wheat margins are actually coming up from where it was historically, but talking within the supply chain is even more relevant - processors and suppliers must work more closely.”

HGCA’s marketing manager Emma Finn added: “The farmers need processors to use the product and vice versa - everyone’s on the same side and sometimes that message gets lost.”

The group will launch ‘supply chain’ and publish the results of the Cereals Industry Forum project on October 9. This will be followed up by an update project where the HGCA revisits companies involved in the PROBE and the value chain analysis schemes to look at progress made.

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