International Barley Hub project presented at UK Parliament
Scientists from the James Hutton Institute were yesterday at the Houses of Parliament in London to make the case and win parliamentarians’ support for the International Barley Hub (IBH), a project that aims to create an unique platform for the translation of barley research into commercial benefits for the entire brewing, whisky and food value chain, with very important implications for food security worldwide.
The initiative aims to develop a commercially-focused innovation centre based in Invergowrie, and would also serve as a training and development ground for barley research skills at an international level. The project seeks to build on the critical mass available at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, which together constitute a world-leading barley research cluster.
MPs and peers heard about how barley is worth £600m to the UK economy, and also the impact of the downstream industries – malting, distilling and animal feed – which together generate more than £6bn for the economy each year.
Describing the potential benefits of the project, business economist Jean Hamilton said that an initial investment of £36m to build, equip and run the IBH, had been calculated to bring a return of upwards of £700m to the national economy by 2030.
Ian Sands, NFUS Combinable Crops Chairman, said the initiative would help accelerate the sort of ‘joined-up’ thinking that is needed to advance practical improvements in barley breeding for farmers and consumers.
Barley is the fourth largest cereal crop in the world with annual grain production averaging between 130 and 150 million tonnes, the majority of which is used as animal feed. For more information on the project and our barley research, visit the International Barley Hub project page, watch our YouTube video or visit the BarleyHub information portal.
More information from: Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media and External Relations Coordinator, Tel: 01224 395089 (direct line), 0844 928 5428 (switchboard) or 07791 193918 (mobile).
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