Our speciality crop is malting barley, but we market all grains and oilseeds for members. Our aim is to maximise returns to members, and crucial to that is making sure that we have a long-term market for our product. For that reason, we have built solid trading relationships with Diageo, Boortmalt and Simpsons, and we are focused on meeting their needs.
The first part of the marketing cycle is to establish our customers’ needs. We then notify our members which varieties to grow, and they commit a volume of grain to us. This all happens well in advance of harvest. EOSF works as a link between grower and maltster throughout the growing and harvesting period of the crop, communicating factors affecting the crop, and fine tuning intake and storage requirements. The aim is to produce, as close as possible, the volume and specification of grain required by our customers.
Grain is sold throughout the year, and prices can vary. Growers all receive the same base price however, thanks to the pool marketing system - although individual qualities are rewarded or penalised as appropriate. Approximately 80% of the pool value is paid to members in October, with balancing payments in January and June/July of the following year.
We market milling oats to Quaker in Cupar, and we are members of the Grainco Producer Group. We also market feed barley, wheat, and oilseed rape. Maximising returns for these crops relies more on market intelligence and sound risk management than relationships with customers, and we work closely with Grainco and United Oilseeds in this regard.
Grain Drying and Storage
The EOSF system allows farmer members to move grain off-farm quickly once it is cut. But, rather than sell it at a time when harvest pressure often forces prices down, EOSF dries, conditions and stores it in a professional manner, so that it can be delivered to customers over the course of the following year.
EOSF and its members have invested heavily over the years, but now own a site with five grain dryers and storage for around 48,000t of grain. Additional drying and storage is rented each season as required to cope with all the grain committed by members. Our reputation is underpinned by a range of quality assurance accreditations.