Politics meets Plant Breeding

LinkedIn +

Bury St. Edmunds MP Jo Churchill, visited Limagrain UK to see how plant breeding is helping UK farmers to be more sustainable.

On Friday 5th November, politics and plant breeding came together as Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, who is also Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation within DEFRA, visited Limagrain UK’s wheat breeding centre at Woolpit, Suffolk.

Limagrain is a fast-growing farmer owned international co-operative group, specialising in both agricultural and horticultural seeds, and in cereal products. As the fourth largest breeder and seeds marketing company in the world, it employs 9,000 people with a turnover of more than 1.98 billion euros annually.

During the visit, Mrs Churchill received a presentation from Jonathan Tann, Limagrain Business Area Director for NW Europe, on the company from an International and UK perspective, followed by a tour of the research and development facility by Ed Flatman, Limagrain’s head of European Wheat Research, along with Phillip Tailby, Limagrain UK’s senior Wheat Breeder. 

Problems facing breeders

One of the most important issues currently facing plant breeders are the pressures and rules regarding the importing and exporting of seed. Mrs Churchill was aware of the latest situation and appreciated that there were still problems to resolve.

Current hot issues surrounding plant breeding, such as gene editing and agri-food innovation, were also discussed along with the challenge of energising young people to engage with the opportunities within agriculture. 

Mrs Churchill was joined by Oli Wilson, DEFRA, and Lesley Canham, Constituency Office Manager. 

Share this story:

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.