Following a multi-million-pound investment from the RCMA Group, a new state of the art rapeseed processing plant has been built in Stratford-upon-Avon. The facility is able to crush significant amounts of rapeseed, producing large volumes of high-quality rape cake for the animal feed sector as well as feed grade and refined rapeseed oils.

“It’s an exciting proposition for livestock farmers across the country,” explains Richard Cross, Trident Feeds wholesale national general manager. “Not only is the plant processing 100% UK-grown rapeseed, it’s providing dairy producers with a reliable and consistent protected protein source not previously produced in the UK.”

Richard adds that unlike existing sources of rapeseed meal, this new product, NovaPro, is differentiated by the oil expelling process. “Oil is expelled from the rapeseed via a mechanical crushing process, rather than traditional chemical extraction.

“Following the expelling process, the rapeseed protein is left in a more digestible state, and is then treated with a patented treatment, incorporating natural wood sugars, to create the high-quality rapeseed protected protein, NovaPro.”

This will result in a high protein, high energy animal feed which is a viable and sustainable alternative to soymeal.

Richard explains initial product trials in dairy cows have shown the potential for yield benefits from a lower cost base. “The opportunity for farmers to save money, increase yield, and feed a sustainable, UK-produced protein is a really exciting proposition for Trident Feeds and we’re delighted to be bringing this new animal feed to the market.”

The plant is the first large scale rapeseed processing facility to be built in the UK since the 1980’s, and has been driven by the increasing demand for sustainable protein sources and increased consumption of rapeseed oil, fueled by health-conscious consumers.

“It’s a milestone in UK rapeseed manufacturing, underpinned by a highly sustainable approach to processing,” says Richard.

“Not only will the plant source 100% UK grown rapeseed, the site also incorporates a biomass-fueled combined heat and power plant. This will make it one of the most energy and carbon-efficient rapeseed processing plants in the UK, generating its own internal energy requirements from UK forestry residues and offcuts,” he adds.

Product availability is currently limited, but Richard says once the on-site oil refinery comes online in the new year, the volume of NovaPro will naturally increase.

“The plant marks exciting times for the British rapeseed industry, arable farmers, and livestock producers and with an ambitious growth forecast, we’re excited to be part of this new offering,” Richard concludes.