The increased use of vegetable proteins for animal feed has led to a significant increase in import of soybeans from South America, United States and Asia, mainly because vegetable proteins from soybeans are better suited for animal then vegetable proteins from barley which has been the traditional source in Europe. This rapid decline in demand for Barley caused by increasing soybean imports has had a significant impact on the future sustainability of barley farmers in Europe, most of which are SMEs.
To survive, barley farmers must seek new applications for their barley in European food products. Currently there are about 5.4M farms in the EU with an estimated turnover of 312 Bn employing over 10M people. Within the farming sector 22% of those employed are associated with the production of barely. Barley is a major European cereal product. This Collective project aims to create a deeper connection between the barley farmers and the supply chain above them, in order to provide new technology and knowledge to the 11,000 SME millers and 85,000 SME bakeries to enable them to significantly increase their use of (and thus stimulate consumer demand for) barley in producing the largest single food product in Europe - "bread".
We believe that through the transfer of new enabling knowledge and baking know-how, the use of barley as a substitute for wheat can be significantly increased and lead to the production of a tasty alternative that has the potential to be much lower in salt content - the main contributing to cardio vascular disease. Whilst wheat production in Europe is not well differentiated globally and there are high levels of imports at around 27.9M tons per year. Barley production however is a major European strength due to the climate and growing conditions included with a long experience of growing barley (8-9000 years) and 90% of barley consumed in Europe is grown here.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects
Berwick Upon Tweed
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire