New station will field-test solutions for reducing crop waste in fresh produce

A new research centre dedicated to reducing crop and food waste and improving efficiency in fresh produce supply chain was opened by life sciences minister George Freeman MP and local MP Lucy Frazer earlier this week.

Image: NAIB
Image: NAIB

Managed by NIAB and described as the first of its kind in the UK, the Eastern AgriGate Research Hub will carry out commercial-scale research to increase productivity and reduce crop wastage before produce reaches the processor and retailer.

NIAB project leader Dr Effie Mutasa-Göttgens explained: "The Hub enables producers, researchers and waste users to collaborate in developing commercial approaches to waste reduction and management, linking small-scale research to business operations. They will be able to test novel solutions on a viable scale prior to significant investment in a final commercial system."

Located at Hasse Fen near Soham, the new facility has been built with £600,000 of growth initiative funding from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, through the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.

Freeman said: "Building connections between the UK's world-class science base and agri-businesses is a central pillar to our Agri-Tech Strategy to help farmers produce more food with less land and less environmental impact.

"The Eastern AgriGate Research Hub will give businesses access to the facilities, skills and expertise needed to develop pioneering new technologies that will reduce crop wastage and boost productivity for food producers across the country."

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