VKB providing grain services for more than a century

VKB is a South African agricultural company with a unique vision based on cooperation with interested parties. It has gradually developed into the dynamic mobilisation of a diverse variety of interactions in the agricultural value chain – from the farm to the table.

VKB has been in business for more than 100 years and the Grain Services Department has been part of the heartbeat of this business right from the start and still is a critical link in the above-mentioned value chain.

Before the silos were built, grain was stored in bags at VKB storehouses at various points all over VKB’s service area. The first storage points were established in 1919 in Daniëlsrus shortly after VKB became a co-operation. Since then the facilities were expanded into 23 grain storage points where grain and oilseeds are stored in a variety of infrastructure. The main storage is the traditional cement tubes which were erected during the seventies and eighties and which since became landmarks in the area. Other than the cement tubes, grain and oilseeds are also stored in corrugated iron tubes, grain stores, bunkers and silo bags in the Northeastern Free State and Limpopo. The current total storage capacity is 1.4 million tonnes.

Grain Services is a division of VKB Landbou (Pty) Ltd) and stands on two legs, of which the first leg is Grain Industry, which is primarily responsible for the handling and storage of grain and oilseeds, but also offers a variety of value-added services to clients. The second leg is Grain Marketing, which is responsible for the trading of producers’ grain as well as the procurement of grain for VKB Agri Processors’ various processing plants.

Grain industry
VKB’s grain facilities are equipped to receive, send and safely store various grain and oilseed products at a high rate by road and rail. Various grain services are offered at the grain facilities, which include modern cleaning and drying facilities. The facilities are continuously upgraded to offer a faster and more effective service to producers and receivers. All but one of the silos are registered as JSE supply points.

Capacity is not the only factor that determines the efficiency of grain storage; location and accessibility of a facility to meet the needs of producers and buyers are just as important. The utilisation of the capacity of a facility per season is critical for efficiency and sustainability.

Value-adding services include drying and cleaning facilities to receive and prepare wet and contaminated grain for national and international market needs. Grains and oilseeds are received and stored safely for interested parties. Segregation of commodities according to determined qualities is possible according to processors’ preferences. New technology is implemented continuously and equipment is well-maintained.

Other important factors include the rate of cleaning, the ability to handle and store various commodities of various grades, intermixing, aeration, fumigation, drying, security against theft, collateral management and the issuing of silo certificates. These are important services in a modern competitive grain handling and storage environment to which VKB Grain Services comply.

VKB’s silos are compliant to the Food Safety Act and are accredited to despatch grain for exports. All silo employees are registered according to Act 36 of 1947 as pest control officers and the silo complexes are fitted with equipped that makes pest control effective without compromising the quality of products. Well co-ordinated operational, logistical and administrative procedures provide for optimal grain flow efficiency, in and out.

Grain Marketing
VKB Grain Marketing is set toward providing an encompassing service to all producers, grain traders, millers, animal feed plants, international traders and other processors. The grain market is a very dynamic environment and price risk management is imperative for sustainability in the JSE’s volatile market for commodity derivatives. This service is available to all VKB clients and is supported by efficient systems, procedures, the Safex trading platform and silo certificates.

A variety of physical and pre-season contract options/choices are offered which is specifically designed to meet the producer’s cash flow needs and market exposure with consideration to seasonal trends. Supporting grain market information is made available to VKB’s clients on al daily bases.

VKB empowers its most valuable asset, namely its employees, with training aligned to business and industry needs. Thereby employees are equipped to tackle future challenges with huge success. This base is continuously expanded as part of VKB’s overall strategic drive with the goal to further extend diversity throughout the business.

VKB plays a leading and participating role in the grain industry with its involvement with organisations such as Agbiz, Agbiz Grain and the Grain Handling Organisation of South Africa (GOSA) and participates in industry related research and developmental work.


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