A University of Nottingham PhD student and arable farmer revealed his new crop on the popular BBC programme ‘Countryfile’ last weekend.
Shropshire farmer Stephen Jones established The British Quinoa Company alongside his PhD in crop science at the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences.
The company produces British grown quinoa on Stephen’s family farm, and holds the exclusive UK rights to grow the quinoa variety bred for the European climate.
“Countryfile has been a fantastic way for us to raise the profile of this new British grain “
Stephen has spent years researching the production and is now in his second year of commercial production of the crop.
Quinoa is a nutty-tasting, high protein, gluten free grain that originates in South America and is notoriously difficult to grow in the cooler North European climate.
Adam Henson, one of Countryfile’s presenters, visited Stephen on his farm near Ellesmere to investigate his quinoa experimentation and saw how Stephen was successfully growing the crop in the British climate.
“We hope to have a large increase in our production area over the next few years to satisfy a rapidly growing market”
Stephen said: “Countryfile has been a fantastic way for us to raise the profile of this new British grain and we hope to have a large increase in our production area over the next few years to satisfy a rapidly growing market”
The family business is to launch its own range of products this autumn, as well as providing quinoa to famous chains such as Pret-A-Manger.
Stephen’s PhD research at Sutton Bonington helped him to identify how crops adapt to new environments, and as his research continues he hopes to learn more about the wheat disease Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) and its effects.
Image: Stephen Jones (left) and Adam Henson with the quinoa crop. Source: Stephen Jones on Twitter, @BritishQuinoa