A merger of two of the country¹s leading grain businesses has been given the green light by shareholders after 98% voted in favour of the deal.

The merged business of Grainfarmers and Centaur Grain, to be named Openfield, will become the UK’s largest grain marketing and input supply business controlled by British farmers.

The merger has already been cleared by the Office of Fair Trading as well as the companies’ banks, although approval from the High Court is still required. This is expected to be granted in mid-November.

“Both sets of farmer members clearly appreciate the need for a business of scale and substance which also provides an excellent local service; one that focuses on their interests and recognises their position as main stakeholders,” said Richard Beldam, chairman designate.

Openfield will handle some four million tonnes of grain ­ accounting for around 20% of the UK market.

The reaction from customers had so far been positive, said Beldam. “Early discussions confirm that they appreciate that they will benefit from the scale, transparency and reliability of our brand offering,” he added.