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RCMA Group invests £25m in sustainable rapeseed processing facility

First new large-scale rapeseed plant to be built since the 1980s responds to increasing market demand for UK-sourced food ingredients.

Independent commodities trading and supply chain company, RCMA Group, today announced it is constructing a state-of-the-art rapeseed processing plant in Atherstone on Stour, near Stratford-upon-Avon, investing £25million in the project and creating in excess of 30 local jobs. The new facility will be operational in the autumn of 2017 to process an annual seed crush of 100,000 tonnes, producing 40,000 tonnes of refined edible rapeseed oil and 60,000 tonnes of high quality rape cake for the animal feed sector. The business will process 100% UK-grown seed to meet growing demand from UK buyers for a fully traceable supply chain and high quality ingredients for the food industry. Rapeseed oil consumption continues to grow, fuelled by health-conscious consumers, and RCMA sees a strong outlook for high quality vegetable oil with traceable UK provenance from farm to table.

“This is a milestone in UK oilseed processing,” commented RCMA Group’s Chairman, Doug King. “Not only are we adding the first brand-new large-scale rapeseed processing facility in the UK since the 1980s; we have commissioned a highly sustainable approach to processing, reflecting our commitment to a more environmentally-friendly industry.”

The innovative design incorporates a biomass-fuelled Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant enabling RCMA Stratford to be one of the most energy and carbon-efficient producers in the UK, generating its own internal energy requirements from UK forestry residues and offcuts. Co-locating the business alongside an established grain store, in the heart of the country, reduces the “food miles” associated with transporting its raw materials into the facility and finished products to end customers.

RCMA Group CEO, Chris Pardey, has assembled a team with deep industry expertise to support the new enterprise including commercial, technical and quality assurance experts with many decades of combined service in oilseeds processing. “This is a fantastic team for the RCMA Group,” said Pardey, “It brings a huge amount of global experience to the Stratford project, coupled with really strong local market and product knowledge which will deliver exceptional value to our customers.” The company is also working in close partnership with farmers’ co-operative, Camgrain, the grain store operator, to build mutually beneficial relationships with UK seed growers.

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