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Exporter’s Strength Is In Managing Supply Chain

“We are supply chain managers and we are able to beat the bulk system.”

– DAVID NYZNYK

Margins are thin in the grain business, so exporting in bulk at lower freight rates is a no-brainer, right?

Not always says David Nyznyk of Agrifood, a Winnipeg-based grain-shipping company. Agrifood exports grain to Mexico in hopper cars, but also in containers and even by truck, Nyznyk said during an interview Dec. 2 during the Fields on Wheels conference in Winnipeg.

“We are supply chain managers and we are able to beat the bulk system,” Nyznyk said.

Unlike most grain exporters, Agrifood doesn’t buy raw grain directly from farmers. Instead, it buys crops from other companies and focuses on getting the grain to its customers in a timely, convenient and cost-effective way.

For the same price a Mexican processor would pay for a bulk shipment, Agrifood can deliver smaller volumes just-in-time direct to the plant door, Nyznyk said.

When a Mexican company places an order for Canadian lentils or canary seed through the bulk system, it will receive it in about 60 days, he said. In between, there’s risk due to fluctuating prices and currency. There are also costs for financing a big purchase and storage.

“But with us they can receive it tomorrow or they can receive it in 30 days – it’s us to them – because we always have product in the pipeline that we divert,” Nyznyk said.

Agrifood is shipping lentils, sunflowers, flax, canary seed and even canola to Mexico. Nyznyk said his firm is capable of supplying Mexican canola crushers with seed shipped in containers.

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About the author

Reporter

Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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