A new company, UK Pulses, has been formed by a joint venture between Senova and Wherry & Sons.
Specialising in the development and commercialisation of peas and beans, UK Pulses combines the expertise and knowledge of two long-established private businesses, giving a further boost to protein crops in the UK.
As Dan Wherry of Wherry & Sons explains, forming a new company will allow it to gain critical mass, something which is increasingly important for crop development, especially with the minor crop species.
“Marrying our skills with Senova’s marketing and commercial experience will put us in a better position for the future and allow both companies to benefit from the expanding pulse market, by using our strengths and interests to best effect,” he says.
“This joint venture will see Wherry continue to develop its international pulse trading activities, which now extend to the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and China, while keeping the roots of a seven generation family business in pulse development.”
Under the terms of the joint venture, Senova will take over the management and day-to-day activities of UK Pulses, widening its variety portfolio through the addition of Wherry pulse varieties.
These will include Wizard, the UK’s most popular winter bean variety, and newcomer Bumble, the highest yielding winter bean on the PGRO Recommended List, which is due to be released next year.
A breeding alliance with IBERS in Aberystwyth, giving access to new breeding technologies, has already been established and will hasten the release of new varieties.
Senova’s commercial director Jeremy Taylor believes that joining forces will bring more market opportunities for pulses and predicts a bright future for UK crops.
“Peas and beans have an important place in farm rotations, not only for the end product, but also for the agronomic and environmental benefits that they provide,” he comments.
“Increasing our involvement in the pulse seed sector comes at just the right time, as there are some promising new varieties on the horizon and an expanding market to supply.”
Doug Harley of the Alexander Harley Seeds Group, Senova’s parent company, is delighted that the joint venture will strengthen the company’s position in the pulse seed sector.
“Pulses have an exciting time ahead of them and this arrangement will allow us to be a bigger part of that. Its good news for everyone involved with peas and beans.”