PepsiCo has opened its first UK oat testing lab, in partnership with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), to help Quaker Oats growers to produce high-quality oats while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximising yield.
The new laboratory is located at plant science research organisation NIAB in Cambridge. According to PepsiCo, expert crop researchers will use the grain quality testing facilities at the site “to test and analyse thousands of oat samples from regenerative agricultural trials for milling and nutritional requirements”.
The data collected from the lab will be used in PepsiCo research initiatives, including the company’s Opti-Oat Crop Intelligence programme, which offers information and insights on how to grow “the perfect oat”.
Peter Bright, senior scientist at PepsiCo UK, said: “Growers are facing pressure on several fronts, with issues like extreme weather and rising costs of materials like fertiliser, making it more difficult for them to grow their crops. With the new testing facility, we want to support growers by giving them useful data and insights that can help optimise their yield and produce the best quality Quaker Oats while protecting the planet by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”
He continued: “With over 100,000 metric tonnes of oats going through our mill in Scotland every year, it’s really important that we support our growers to meet growing consumer demand for Quaker Oats in a sustainable way”.
The move forms part of the business’s global strategy, PepsiCo Positive. It will help the food and beverage giant to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres by 2030.
Helen Appleyard, head of analytical services at NIAB, added: “Setting up this facility with PepsiCo has been fantastic and we have benefitted from each other’s knowledge and experience in the industry. PepsiCo’s investment has improved our shared spaces and equipment, generated new ideas for ways of working and staff training opportunities, including better knowledge of the oat crop from field to bowl.”
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