Fengrain Kent has dispatched a series of grain vessels from Dover and Rye Harbour recently, and says it has become “a significant player in the South East grain market in less than 18 months.”

The Kent based trading arm of farmer cooperative Fengrain has been making full use of the region’s port facilities.

Over the past year, the business has sent two 4,000 tonne boats from Dover to Belfast, which were filled with milling wheat procured from within a 35 mile radius of the port.

The coop has also loaded three smaller vessels with feed wheat and feed beans which have been shipped to Europe.

A total of seven smaller vessels have also been loaded at Rye Harbour, taking soft wheats to Belgium and Holland and feed beans to France. The maximum size for this tidal restricted port is 2,500 tonnes.

Tim Porter, who leads the Fengrain Kent team, said: “At the end of July we will have completed our first marketing season, and we are already trading ahead of expectation having won the support of many farmers and customers in the region.

“There has been big investment in the port facilities around the county in recent years and the ability to load boats so close to where the grain is grown has been very useful. It is good for farmers in opening up export opportunities and benefits the environment because of the reduced haulage.

“Dispatching vessels direct from Kent gives us more options in finding the right buyer, which helps us to secure maximum value for the grain we sell.”

Mr Porter said his team had already grown from one person to three, with the most recent addition being Charles Roberts, who joined as a trader earlier in the year.

Fengrain Kent has also established a number of third party stores close to its base at Womenswold, near Canterbury, which allow for an efficient movement of ex farm grain at harvest time.

“They also give us the flexibility and security to supply to end users at times of the year, such as Christmas, when farmers might be less keen to load from farm,” said Mr Porter.

Tim Porter commissioned drone operator Philip James to take these pictures while Fengrain was loading boats in Rye Harbour and Dover