The merger between US-based Archer Daniels Midlands and Gleadell Agriculture will “massively reduce” farmers' options in the grain market, the NFU has said.
Multinational grain buyer and processer Archer Daniels Midlands (ADM) has acquired Gleadell Agriculture Ltd and Dunns Ltd in a major merger to create ADM Agriculture Ltd.
ADM, an American global food processing and commodities trading corporation, will increase its origination, storage and destination marketing capabilities in the UK.
In a statement, the company, which has over 32,000 employees, said the move will allow it to serve as the “trading partner of choice for even more farmers and customers”.
However, the NFU fears that the merger will add “extra financial pressure” on UK arable businesses.
NFU combinable crops board chairman Tom Bradshaw said: “The UK grain market is fiercely competitive and the arable sector is facing many commercial challenges, so it isn’t surprising to see this kind of consolidation in the grain supply chain.
“The NFU is concerned that this merger could add extra financial pressure on arable businesses as it would massively reduce farmers’ options within the grain market, driving down competitive trading and reducing farmers’ chances to find the best price for their product.”
He added: “Although it is encouraging that international businesses are investing in the UK grain industry, the Agriculture Bill must protect British farming businesses from dominant supply chains or else it runs the risk of favouring cheaper, lower quality imported grain over home-grown crops.”
Established in 1880, Gleadell Agriculture Ltd is a supplier of combinable crops to UK millers, feed compounders and other consumers, and a major exporter of grains, oilseeds and pulses to EU markets and further afield.
The company sources crops directly from UK farmers and supplies certified seed and fertilisers. Key assets include port storage and ship loading operations along with extensive pulse and agricultural seed processing and storage.