JUNIOR DEFRA minister Lord Whitty modelled a jacket made from nettle fibre during a visit to the Royal Show on Wednesday (Jul 7).
The minister was on the stand of the Non-food Crops Centre which is looking at alternative uses for cereal, vegetable and minority crops.
Lord Whitty was shown several novel crops such as the Common Nettle which, when processed in to a fibre, can be used to manufacture various types of clothing.
The minister said that he saw these crops as presenting a variety of real environmental benefits.
“DEFRA has played an important role in setting up the non-food centre which recognises the prospects for non-food crops in manufacturing textiles for use in clothes and other uses such as car components.”
The minister was shown biodiesel, bioethanol and vehicle lubricants derived from vegetable plants.
The use of Elephant grass (Miscanthus) as a packaging and manufacturing material was also demonstrated to him.
But Lord Whitty was told the use of Elephant grass, as a serious energy crop was also fast becoming a reality.