The Online Grain Trading Revolution: The Story of Graindex to Hectare
It was a cool evening in 2015 when co-founder Jamie McInnes embarked on a momentous trip to his father-in-law’s farm office.
He was initially there to talk about the football. But after seeing his father-in-law on the phone frantically trying to get prices on his grain, Jamie would instead leave with a business idea that would reshape the UK's agricultural supply chain.
That business idea would become Graindex, a digital platform connecting forward-thinking crop farmers with verified buyers. Jamie pitched the idea to arable farmer friend Andrew Huxham that very evening, starting a campaign that would propel Graindex to become the UK’s number 1 grain marketplace.
After years of providing farmers and buyers with easily accessible market opportunities, Graindex will be rethinking the grain supply chain industry yet again. Soon to be unveiled with exciting new features to make your price discovery experience even better, we're proud to announce a brand new name and platform for Graindex: Hectare Trading.
Graindex: A Look Back
After months of website building, software development and consultation with farmers, merchants and the agricultural community, Graindex successfully launched its first live trading period in October 2017.
"It was an exhilarating moment," shared co-founder Jamie McInnes, reflecting on the inaugural trading period. "Seeing the first buyers actively engaging and agreements being finalised confirmed that there was a future for online independent grain trading that could benefit arable farmers and buyers alike."
It’s a format that has proved successful. Very little has changed about how Graindex operates since that very first trading period - but Graindex has continued to grow. Over 100 verified buyers have since registered with Graindex, and the site expanded with a premium membership offering live market prices and a dedicated Business Development Manager (BDMs) - to the delight of customers.
"Graindex premium is brilliant because it offers the only real-time traded information openly available in the UK. The BDMs also offer fantastic, impartial advice which plays a crucial role in our trading decisions, while saving us hours speaking to different merchants." - Andrew Nott
A modern-day alternative to the traditional corn exchange, Graindex has replaced these physical buildings with an expansive online marketplace, facilitating open trade across the entire country and resulting in the most open grain market in Britain.
“We set out to enable a transparent, simple and intuitive way to trade grain online from out on the farm to inside the office,” said co-founder Andrew Huxham.
“We give farmers the option to sell at the fairest price on the day, and buyers the chance to source the product they need with the market clarity essential for the competitive edge. We have certainly accomplished that mission.”
Hectare Trading: A Look Forward
Graindex’s success was mirrored in SellMyLivestock, a sister site established by Jamie and livestock farmer Dan Luff as an online marketplace for livestock. With over 140,000 registered members, the site has become the largest livestock marketplace in the UK.
In 2021, Jamie, Andrew and Dan united Graindex and SellMyLivestock together under one umbrella: Hectare. Hectare not only gave a parent company to the two marketplaces, but the chance to support more farmers and agricultural businesses by expanding its offerings with affordable technology and multi-commodity solutions. This led to Hectare’s first pioneering product: Hectare Inventory, which empowers farmers to keep track of their stock in real-time to make better business decisions.
So where does Graindex fit into all this? We’re immensely proud of Graindex, and continuously strive to enhance the experience for farmers, buyers and all those who trade grain. So this is why Graindex will have a fresh, new identity: Hectare Trading. While still facilitating fast, efficient and secure grain price discovery, Hectare Trading will be brimming with exciting new features to make it easier than ever before to trade with confidence.
We wouldn't be where we are today without our incredible community of farmers and buyers on Graindex. That’s why we’re committed to bringing you the best experience possible. Hectare Trading was carefully crafted by farmers, for farmers, to connect agriculture and create a sustainable future together.
“I am beyond thrilled to introduce our rebranded entity, Hectare Trading, which is set to revolutionize the way arable farmers trade grain,” said Andrew.
“Our vision has always been to make life easier for the people who keep agriculture moving, and with Hectare Trading we're taking a significant leap forward. Expect a more efficient, secure, and user-friendly platform that caters to the evolving needs of our forward-thinking farmers."
Graindex was the start of a remarkable story for our team and the arable community at large, a story that will continue with Hectare Trading. Along with our other upcoming solutions and services, we look forward to a future teeming with countless opportunities for the grain industry and the entire agricultural community.