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1 May, 2018 - 22:09 By Kate Sweeney

Peterborough agri businesses secure growth capital

A micronutrient formulation company based in Peterborough has secured a £60,000 grant to help fund a multi-purpose pilot plant to support the scale up of its operation.

Camari Ltd is investing the money in a new pilot plant to enhance its volume processing capabilities from typical laboratory scale (1-5 litres) to manufacturing (5,000 Litres +) on a vast number of its agricultural formulations. The funding is from the Agri-Tech Grant Programme, now run by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

The business is said to have a range of high-quality and sustainable crop yield enhancing products, developed with biological value and lower environmental impact in mind.

Subsequently, demand is high, driving a need to scale the business to enable greater availability at volume of key micronutrient formulations to enhance customer satisfaction.

The new pilot plant will enable Camari to increase production while still supporting the challenging chemical processes involved in the replication of these commercial formulations. Camari will be working in partnership with local firm Safapac, a leading contract manufacturer and packer of speciality chemicals.

Barry Cornett, managing director of parent company Safapac Holdings, said: “The grant is a boost to the city’s R & D sector and a huge opportunity for Camari. The firm has tremendous potential; this grant allows us to realise that potential and we are incredibly excited to see the business go from strength to strength.”

A Suffolk farm has been awarded almost £23,000 from the Agri-Tech Grant Programme to improve the drying of its grain crops and improve systems across the farming industry.

Thurlow Estate Farms, based near Haverhill, plans to invest the grant funding to improve their grain drying systems with bespoke automated grain sampling and testing functions. The new system will offer better control and accuracy in measuring the moisture in the grain; providing a more sustainable and fuel-efficient system for the business overall.

The equipment upgrade will also enable more accurate moisture measurement during both wet intake and post drying stages, using specific grain data to deliver a more consistent grain output and quality assurance for customers.  

Farms director Andrew Crossley said: “Over the last five years we have reduced the over-drying of crops significantly, saving fuel and reducing weight loss. This grant will enable us to develop an automated system with even more accuracy making further savings. Demonstrating this success to others will be an integral part of the project.”

The grant will help fund two strands of the project including the purchase of sampling and analysis equipment as well as the development of software. This bespoke system will achieve a much more sophisticated level of control over the results and control of the drier automation than has been achieved before. 

This level of improved accuracy will allow Thurlow Estate Farms to precisely determine and reduce actual weight loss from grain drying, therefore reducing costs associated with fuel consumption directly relating to tonnage. In turn this will promote greater confidence with customers as a direct result of quality guarantee and perceived industry sustainability.  

Ironically end user data shows that farmers tend to over dry grain the most in wet years, so making high fuel use years even worse than they need to be. 

• To find out how the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative could help to grow your business, visit www.agritechgrants.co.uk or call 01480 277180.

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