MUSCAT, FEB 20
Oman Flour Mills (OFM), a major player in the country’s food sector, expects to receive a 35,000 MT of wheat from Australia this month as a result of a contract signed in November last year by OMAUS Pty Australia and local Australian farmers.
OMAUS Pty Australia is a trading firm set up by Atyab Investments (the investment arm of OFM) to help secure grain supplies from Australia and with the aim to “contract (directly) with growers in Australia” thereby enabling better procurement terms for the buying of Australian grains.
To this end, two Australian farmers have joined forces to put together and export a 35,000-tonne bulk shipment of milling wheat to Oman in what could be a first for the Australia’s wheat industry.
Farmers Andrew Weidemann and Barry Large have started the company LW Investments Australia to export grain, including their own, directly from farmers to end users.
The ship is being loaded at the Port of Geelong in Victoria, Australia and will sail for Oman this week.
“Farmers don’t usually export their own grain. Typically, they deliver to a bulk handler like Graincorp or Viterra, which then manages export logistics. End users like Oman Flour Mills wanted to buy grain directly from growers.
Oman Flour Mills has been purchasing wheat from Australia for quite some time, but they have been talking about trying to connect directly with farmers,” Weidemann said in a report by abc.net.
Meanwhile, Atyab Investments is exploring new projects in line with OFM’s strategy to diversify which include (1) venturing into the production of foods based on organic flour; (2) looking at sustainable food projects based on alternative protein sources; (3) farming of Spirulina — cyanobacteria from blue-green algae species which can be processed into nutritive products consumed by humans and animals alike; and (4) cultivating water lentils — a plant with a roughly 45 – 48 per cent protein content that can be used as a soybean meal replacement in animal feed.