HIGH return speciality crops offer a potentially lucrative alternative to mainstream arable enterprises, claims new consultancy group Natural Product Development.
"We aim for returns over winter wheat and some crops gross £5000-£10,000/ha," says group principal, Richard Foss.
Based in Norfolk, the three-man team has crop breeding, processing and agronomy expertise. Marketing a finished product to the end-user from the farm is a key approach. "We believe the way forward for growers is to try to add value by processing crops on farm," he says.
Confidentiality clauses mean specific species cannot be named, but the group claims to be working with about 20 medicinal crops, a number of essential oil crops, aromatic crops, and some new oilseed species.
"We have trials in progress and are keen to set-up further farm-scale trials with growers or grower groups." Growers should contact Richard Foss (01263-732350). *