NIAB strengthens potato research team with new appointment

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Peter Craven is joining the crop research organisation NIAB in the new role of research development manager for NIAB Potatoes. The appointment comes at a critical time, as the UK potato industry seeks to remain at the technological forefront following the demise of AHDB Potatoes.

Starting in August Mr Craven will join an established team of research scientists, crop specialists and field/laboratory technicians at NIAB, widely known for providing potato R&D, services and advice across the UK and beyond. He will be leading the development of NIAB’s potato agronomy research and industry partnerships, technical services and consultancy activities, with a focus on the practical application of research outputs from across the organisation.

Building on established relationships

NIAB’s head of Farming Systems and Agronomy Research, Dr Elizabeth Stockdale explains that he will be working extensively across research and industry, building on NIAB’s established relationships and partnerships, identifying new opportunities and enabling new business. 

“Peter will work closely with the Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA), to support the development of research, knowledge exchange and events undertaken by NIAB or wider collaborations. He will also lead on the growth of our potato knowledge exchange programme, including training and meetings/conferences, as well as in the delivery of demonstrations at events, trials sites and on-farm,” says Dr Stockdale. 

A graduate in agri-business management, for the past 25 years Mr Craven has run a South Lincolnshire farm business that includes potatoes, onions, double crop vegetables, daffodils, peas, sugar beet and wheat. Since 2012 he has specialised in potato production for both pre-pack and chipping markets. He has also held roles on the Oxford Farming Conference Emerging Leaders Programme and the NFU Potato Forum, and is a Nuffield Farming Scholar.

Joined up response

“I’m looking forward to working with the potato research team at NIAB, delivering a joined-up response for growers and the wider supply chain, alongside improved production efficiency and sustainability for the UK potato industry in the years ahead.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the NFU Potato Forum exploring the wider industry challenges, and together with my practical hands on experience of growing, storing and packing potatoes, the new role at NIAB is an exciting, challenging and logical next step. As UK potato production navigates a new future without the AHDB, and as we move ever closer to delivering Net Zero for UK agriculture, NIAB will play a key role in delivering the practical solutions required for a profitable and sustainable UK potato industry,” adds Mr Craven.


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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.