Plant sciences student showcases new crop on BBC Countryfile

   
   
Quinoa-Stephen-Jones
22 Aug 2014 11:04:06.990

PA218/14

A University of Nottingham PhD student and arable farmer is to showcase his unique new crop on the BBC’s popular Sunday evening programme ’Countryfile’ this weekend.

Stephen Jones from Shropshire is doing a PhD in crop science at the University’s School of Biosciences at Sutton Bonington. Alongside his studies at the University, Stephen established The British Quinoa Company which now produces British grown quinoa on his family’s farm and currently holds the exclusive UK rights to grow the only quinoa varieties bred for the European climate.

It has taken Stephen many years of on-farm research to get his production practices right and is now in his second year of full scale commercial production.

Click here for full story

Quinoa is a nutty-tasting, high protein, gluten free grain which originates from South America and until now has been difficult to grow commercially in Northern European climates. Stephen’s smart business plan to exclusively grow and sell British quinoa was a winner in the University’s Student Venture Challenge last year.

Now, BBC TV’s Countryfile has visited Stephen on his farm near Ellesmere to find out how he has been experimenting with quinoa production and developed a good practice for growing the crop commercially in the British climate. Stephen is now the exclusive provider of the grain to famous chains like Pret-A-Manger and his family business is launching its own range of products this autumn after harvest.

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”

Stephen’s PhD work at Nottingham has helped his business by unravelling the mysteries of how differences in plant physiology can help a crop adapt to a new environment. Specifically in his research he is aiming to identify physiological traits in wheat that are able to confer passive resistance to a wheat disease, Fusarium Head Blight (FHB).

Countryfile’s report on Stephen and his unique arable adventure is due to feature in this Sunday’s programme, 24th August 2014, at 8pm on BBC One.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our new Globelynx fixed camera facility at the University. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Stephen Jones on 07870 742364 or email stephen@britishquinoa.co.uk
EmmaRayner2

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager

Email: emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

New water-hunting power of plant roots discovered

Published Date
Monday 9th June 2014

Fancy a career in beer?

Published Date
Wednesday 26th March 2014

Sniffed out - the 'gas detectors' of the plant world

Published Date
Thursday 23rd January 2014

Shedding new light on leaf formation

Published Date
Monday 16th December 2013

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: communications@nottingham.ac.uk