Going from a harvest of just 20 tonnes to one of 80 in under 12 months – and with a new food crop – is quite a feat, but it’s one that Stephen Jones, a graduate of Harper Adams University’s BSc in Agriculture with Crop Management, managed to pull off. Stephen first became interested in the potential of quinoa in 2006, and his postgraduate studies at Harper Adams in Crop Protection and Agronomy confirmed his hopes and allowed him to conduct growing trials with new varieties of this relatively unfamiliar crop that would succeed in the UK’s climate. Now manager of the British Quinoa Company and operating from his farm in Shropshire, Stephen supplies the restaurant chain Pret a Manger, and his entrepreneurship has been recognised with the award of Arable Innovator of the Year at the British Farming Awards, appearances on BBC Countryfile and a new partnership with Waitrose. ‘It took many field experiments to teach us how to successfully establish a crop, control weeds and harvest a high-quality product,’ says Stephen. ‘We’ve have had many hard lessons along the way to get to where we are now, but with each passing season we’ve certainly learned how to grow a great crop of British quinoa.’ With a harvest close to 700 tonnes in 2016, it certainly looks as if Stephen will be going from strength to strength


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