Cereals 2024: Opportunity for farmers to supply UK’s largest quinoa firm

The UK’s largest quinoa producer, the British Quinoa Company, is looking to take on a limited number of additional growers next spring to meet growing demand within the human consumption market.

With a current price of £750/t and average yields of 1.5-1.75t/ha, the low-input spring crop could be a viable option for growers as they look to widen their rotations. 

Shropshire farmer Dr Stephen Jones, the founder of British Quinoa, says: “About 300ha of quinoa is currently grown across the UK among 20 growers, but we hope to expand both our conventional and organic production area by offering production contracts to additional growers.”

See also: Cereals 2024: KWS turns to hybrid barleys to give growers more choice

Low input crop

However, with no insecticide, fungicide or herbicide active approvals for the crop, a low weed pressure is imperative and growers must have the ability to culturally control weeds.

On the plus side, this leaves nitrogen as the crop’s main input cost.

“For new growers we’re looking for a 20ha minimum area,” says Stephen. “Those looking to grow a smaller area than this will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For context, our biggest grower currently grows about 50ha of quinoa.”

Contracts are offered on a buy-back arrangement with the seed supplied. The company also offers its growers a range of agronomy advice to ensure successful crop establishment and harvestable yield.

“As with most niche crops, there can be a large variability in yield, so it’s important we work with our farmers and help them get the most from the crop,” Stephen says.

The final crop is destined for human consumption, predominantly going to retail packers or the food manufacturing industry.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity and how it might fit within your rotation, contact Stephen Jones on 01939 270777 or email stephen@britishquinoa.co.uk

Grower requirements

  • Well-structured and fertile soils
  • The ability to sow at precise seeding depths
  • A low weed burden and ability to culturally control weeds
  • Batch drying facilities
  • A high level of attention to detail

Quinoa’s benefits

  • A new spring sown broad-leaved combinable crop
  • An excellent break for wheat
  • High potential returns to the grower
  • Helps spread workload with a later harvest

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