For 400 years the Casswell family has farmed land in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. But without farmer-owned co-operatives the prospect of future generations continuing those farming traditions would be slim.
James Casswell is both a tenant and contract farmer, with more than 3000 acres of land, primarily used to harvest grain. He is one of 4,000 farmer owners of Openfield, the UK’s only national farming grain co-operative.
Openfield produces approximately four million tonnes of grain a year and supplies some of the biggest and best-known names in the British food and drink manufacturing industry. It supplies its members with seed and fertiliser, provides grain storage, offers expert advice on marketing with complete transparency in the marketplace.
James Dallas, CEO of Openfield, added: “The reason Openfield exists is to be a marketing expert for our farmer. Farmers have numerous balls to juggle every day. For them to have expert marketing knowledge and ensure the best return is almost impossible.
“We provide expert market advice. We protect our farmers against risk and ensure they’re not exposed to the volatility of the market place. We’ll give them best possible return and keep them profitable.”