Our own agricultural trade has been part of the IREKS Group for more than 130 years. Through it, we procure a large part of our basic raw material: grain. A particular focus is on spelt. Shortly before last summer’s harvest, we met Markus Werner and Matthias Klöffel, members of the board of directors of the Mainkorn producer group, in the field to talk about the cooperation with IREKS and the quality of our spelt.
What does the Mainkorn producer group do?
We are an association of farms from the region of Lower Franconia, Germany, jointly marketing the various crops that we grow. In addition to spelt and other types of grain, these include rapeseed, spices, herbs and edible flowers. Other than that, we implement projects on renewable energies together and bundle the purchase of means of production. In total, we have more than 2,100 members.
Why do you and your members opt for the cultivation of spelt?
Our region Lower Franconia is ideal for growing spelt, which is why we have specialised in this area. It rains little, so the spelt is hardly affected by fungal infestation and can ripen dry. Due to the lack of rainfall, the spelt usually grows fewer grains, but they are premium. The climate and the nutrient-rich soils contribute significantly to the fact that we can reliably grow spelt of a particularly high quality.
Despite the good conditions, there are certainly challenges, aren’t there?
Exactly, climatic conditions are only half the battle. In order to contain cereal diseases and maintain soil health, we rely on the annual crop rotation of our fields. We set up a so-called crop rotation plan years in advance. Five to seven crops are grown in alternation. After the regeneration of the soil, spelt always comes first. In this way, we additionally avoid contamination with wheat, because a sufficient distance is kept between the cultivation of the two cereals. Variety produces quality!
That definitely unites us, because we at IREKS do our best for quality, as well! Is that a reason for you to work with us?
With IREKS, we have found a partner at eye level, simply because of the appreciation for our work and for our high-quality spelt. IREKS has paid attention to the origin and raw material safety of spelt at an early stage, which is why we have been working together for more than 15 years. Whoever is close to agriculture is automatically close to the raw material – a classic win-win situation.
What are the advantages of the proximity between producer and processor?
Reliable cooperation is important to us! We know that IREKS will purchase the agreed quantities at fair conditions and, in return, IREKS has the certainty of receiving pure, high-quality spelt in sufficient quantity. Planning security is indispensable, especially in these challenging times. We also share a passion for growing special varieties and raw materials. Together with IREKS, we try new things, such as the production of green spelt. Thanks to our close coordination with regard to the cultivated varieties and the various quality characteristics, our spelt can be optimally aligned with the subsequent product features of the baking ingredients from the grain onwards. In the end, it is simply nice to know what becomes of our grain!
Agricultural trade at IREKS