The University of Warwick’s research commercialisation wing, Warwick Innovations, has signed a contract with Agrii to promote the commercial production of UK haricot beans.
Prof Eric Holub, of Warwick University’s Crop Centre, has bred three haricot bean varieties which are adapted for growing in the UK climate and are more suited to standard farm machinery.
Under the new contract, Agrii will carry out pre-commercial field trials and detailed research to enable a proof-of-concept and move towards creating a growing model which fits with progressive UK broad acre farming systems.
Capulet, a white bean, Godiva, a blonde variety and Olivia, which is black, have been selected for their quality, versatility and suitability for different uses. They are fast-cooking from a dry ingredient and also suitable for commercial canning in British baked beans.
Alone, the UK leading brand of baked beans is responsible for shipping in 50,000 tonnes of North American beans per annum, according to Warwick University.
Agrii head of agronomy, Colin Lloyd says: “Alongside faba beans and peas, haricot beans could provide an alternative short-season break crop for cereal rotations, improving soil and contributing to the responsible land stewardship and adding to the viability of farming businesses.”