A Statement from the CEO

Robin Appel Ltd

A Statement from the CEO


Recent company failures within the UK grain trade (both SME’s) will inevitably prompt the industry giants to circulate questions over the future of independent companies like us. Overlooking the fact that we have Trade Credit Insurance (which we have had in place for more than 25 years) they will try and argue that the aforesaid failures are a direct consequence of inadequate scale, both physical and financial, necessary to compete within today’s global industry. It is an argument that suits them, but is a gross distortion of what is really going on.

Within the UK, over the last 30 years or so, the food industry has been steam rollered by the major supermarkets, their ‘out of town’ mega stores, their headline discounts of staples such as milk and bread, all orchestrated around a message of cheaper and cheaper food. But all of that is now in the throws of change, initially prompted by concerns over healthier food, and latterly spirited along by an expanding demand for ‘premium and provenance’. The latter is, not surprisingly, a market place which global commodity traders do not recognise. But we at Robin Appel Ltd, as a “grass roots” business, have been searching out these sort of markets forever.

That these new market opportunities are gathering pace, is widely reported in the media (‘The Grocer’ et al), and is also very visible to us first hand. Over the last 6 months we have had ‘first processors’, both from across the UK, and the near Continent, all beating a path to our door because they are seeking “more provenance” with regard to their grain supplies. They all are quite adamant that only a company of our structure, and size, can deliver exactly what they want.

So as we canter towards our financial year end (31/03), our 37th in total, we are able to confidently forecast another set of excellent results, contributing again to an already robust balance sheet. This is, of course, a pre-requisite of for advancing these new opportunities with the customers we are talking about. So be assured, as I approach my 55th year in the grain trade, and once again, sadly, others around us fail, the team at Robin Appel Ltd, one of the most successful in our history, is steadfastly marching on!

Robin Appel

7th March 2017.