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UK Government Funding For More Sustainable and Efficient Food and Drink Production

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UK Government Funding For More Sustainable and Efficient Food and Drink Production

UK Government Funding For More Sustainable and Efficient Food and Drink Production
July 11
11:06 2012

Twenty one businesses will receive UK Government funding of more than £15 million to develop technology that can boost food and drink production and improve the environment. One of the winning entries, from bar equipment suppliers Brewfitt, will develop an on-tap cooling system for pubs which they estimate could save pubs approximately £700 a year in energy costs and £2,000 worth of wasted drink.

Instead of beer being cooled in the cellar, warming in pipes on its way to the bar and being cooled again just before serving, the system will use far less energy. Drinks will be chilled as they are needed which will mean better drinks, served at optimum temperatures, with less wastage.

Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice comments: “Britain’s at the forefront of innovation and at a time of soaring world population growth, harnessing this talent for the food and farming industry will create significant economic growth and improve the environment. That’s why the Government is investing more than £15 million in this research.”

Other award winners include: a digital project making buying local food more convenient and affordable online; a farm irrigation system to dramatically reduce water use; and research into reducing potato diseases without using pesticides.

Two competitions, co-funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); the Technology Strategy Board; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Scottish Government, were announced at the Farming, Food and Drink Innovation Summit in March. The aim was to inspire innovation that leads to more efficient production with less impact on the environment.

£500,000 was on offer to small and medium sized businesses through grants of up to £25,000. A further £15 million is available to businesses to invest in projects that will increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of food processing and manufacturing. The results of this competition will be announced later this year.

The farming, food and drink sector contributed £87 billion to the UK economy in 2010. It currently provides around 3.7 million jobs. More than 6,000 new products come to market every year showing the huge potential for growth within the sector. Defra spends approximately £65 million a year on farming, food and drink research and development, while the UK Government overall spends £400 million.

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