'Technological science critical in current UK climate'


28 July 2022
NIAB strengthens potato research team with new appointment

UK CROP research organisation NIAB has appointed Peter Craven as its new Research Development Manager.


Starting in August, Peter joins an established team of research scientists, crop specialists and field/laboratory technicians at NIAB, widely known for providing potato R&D, services and advice across the UK and beyond. NIAB (The National Institute of Agricultural Botany) is a plant science research company based in Cambridge.


He will lead the development of NIAB’s potato agronomy research and industry partnerships, technical services and consultancy activities, with a focus on the practical application of research outputs from across the organisation.


NIAB’s Head of Farming Systems and Agronomy Research, Dr Elizabeth Stockdale said the appointment comes at a critical time following the demise of AHDB Potatoes, adding that Peter will be working extensively across research and industry, building on NIAB’s established relationships and partnerships, identifying new opportunities and enabling new business.

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“Peter will work closely with the Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA), to support the development of research, knowledge exchange and events undertaken by NIAB or wider collaborations. He will also lead on the growth of our potato knowledge exchange programme, including training and meetings/conferences, as well as in the delivery of demonstrations at events, trials sites and on-farm,” she said.


A graduate in agri-business management, for the past 25 years Peter has run a South Lincolnshire farm business that includes potatoes, onions, double crop vegetables, daffodils, peas, sugar beet and wheat. Since 2012 he has specialised in potato production for both pre-pack and chipping markets. He has also held roles on the Oxford Farming Conference Emerging Leaders Programme and the NFU Potato Forum, and is a Nuffield Farming Scholar.


“I’m looking forward to working with the potato research team at NIAB, delivering a joined-up response for growers and the wider supply chain, alongside improved production efficiency and sustainability for the UK potato industry in the years ahead,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the NFU Potato Forum exploring the wider industry challenges, and together with my practical hands-on experience of growing, storing and packing potatoes, the new role at NIAB is an exciting, challenging and logical next step. As UK potato production navigates a new future without the AHDB, and as we move ever closer to delivering Net Zero for UK agriculture, NIAB will play a key role in delivering the practical solutions required for a profitable and sustainable UK potato industry,” he said.


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