CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM — PepsiCo, Inc. has partnered with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) to open its first UK oat testing laboratory at NIAB’s site in Cambridge. Researchers at the site will use the facilities to test and analyze thousands of oat samples from regenerative agricultural trials for milling and nutritional requirements.
PepsiCo said it has collaborated with the NIAB for many years, working to improve agricultural and horticultural crop production. As part of their latest partnership, PepsiCo researchers will have access to state-of-the-art grain quality testing facilities, the company said. The data collected from the laboratory will feed into PepsiCo research projects, including the company’s Opti-Oat Crop Intelligence program, which offers information and insights into how to grow the perfect oat in its Oat Growth Guide. The Oat Growth Guide is part of the Opti-Oat initiative that seeks to deliver a 5% to 10% increase in yield while contributing to more sustainable crop production, PepsiCo said.
“Growers are facing pressure on several fronts, with issues like extreme weather and rising costs of materials like fertilizer, making it more difficult for them to grow their crops,” said Peter Bright, a senior scientist at PepsiCo UK. “With the new testing facility, we want to support growers by giving them useful data and insights that can help optimize their yield and produce the best quality Quaker Oats, while protecting the planet by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
“With over 100,000 tonnes of oats going through our mill in Scotland every year, it’s really important that we support our growers to meet growing consumer demand for Quaker Oats in a sustainable way. Our dedicated oat quality testing facility is a win for PepsiCo, NIAB, our growers and ultimately our consumers through producing the best quality Quaker Oats whilst delivering against our PepsiCo Positive goals.”
Helen Appleyard, head of analytical services at the NIAB, added: “Setting up this facility with PepsiCo has been fantastic and we have benefited from each other’s knowledge and experience in the industry. PepsiCo’s investment has improved our shared spaces and equipment, generated new ideas for ways of working and staff training opportunities, including better knowledge of the oat crop from field to bowl.”
The opening of the laboratory is part of pep+, the Purchase, New York, US-based company’s global strategy that puts health and sustainability at the core of its business.