As EU subsidies are set to go after Brexit, beans farmers in East Anglia, England, are looking to supply Scotland’s salmon industry.
Spring beans from Norfolk are to make their way to Scottish salmon farms as a new ingredient for feed, reports Eastern Daily Press.
A number of farmers are growing the humble vegetable, after the construction of a new bean processing plant in Nottingham was announced in January by Frontier Agriculture – the UK’s largest crop production and grain marketing business which is jointly owned by Associated British Foods and Cargill.
The plant will be located at the company’s site near Nottingham. It will process beans to de-hull them, creating a UK-produced high protein, low fibre binder which can be used in the manufacture of fish food and other feed products. De hulled beans are a better binder and a valuable source of protein and could replace wheat and soya in aquaculture diets, say Frontier Agriculture.
Eat Anglia-based Bradenham Hall Farms is growing 56ha of spring beans this year for the new market.
Bradenham Hall Farms Farm manager David Pike told the publication: “We were looking for a new market because we needed to change the way we were farming at Bradenham. We have got a build-up of black-grass which we needed to get under control.
“And we felt we needed to set ourselves up going forward, after the end of direct farm payments [EU subsidies which will be phased out after Brexit]. That is what kick-started it.”
Frontier’s regional agronomy sales manager Andrew Melton told Eastern Daily Press:
“While it gets exciting for us as agronomists, the best thing is our customers are able to fulfil a brand new market, and we have not had one of those for a while,” he said.
“It should help the salmon farmer, and it should help the environment and, fundamentally as far as we are concerned, it will help growers in East Anglia.
“We [Frontier] have invested £3m in Nottingham to help fulfil this emerging market.
“Up until that stage we were importing soya from Latin America so, considering the B word [Brexit], the more we can do to increase the size of UK domestic markets, then we as a business are going to go along with that.”