Skip to main content
Arable Conversations: Alternative markets and new cash crops, with live Q&A session, at 11:30 am

Arable Conversations: Alternative markets and new cash crops, with live Q&A session, at 11:30 am

Publicity image for the first Arable Conversation session on markets and cash crops
June 17, 2021

Join us at Arable Scotland on 29th June 2021 at 11:30 am for an interactive ‘Arable Conversation’ that will discuss ‘Alternative markets and new cash crops’. Chris Leslie from AHDB will lead the discussion and be joined by Robert Ramsay (SoilEssentials), James Webster (AHDB), Julian Bell (SRUC) and Wendy Russell (Rowett Institute).

To register for the webinar visit

Robert Ramsay – SoilEssentials

Robert Ramsay, SoilEssentials

Describing himself as both an ‘eco-nerd’ and an arable farmer, Robert farms at Kinblethmont Farm near Arbroath in Angus, he is a firm believer in the need for agriculture to look beyond existing food markets and learn about new opportunities and products. He currently represents an association of ten growers, based in Angus and Aberdeenshire, who are growing hemp seeds for food with an eye to developing different markets in future years.

Hemp production is an area which he sees as having real potential as a new market for Scottish arable farmers and he will discuss his views on how we can establish a viable industry in Scotland and build scale, and where opportunities and new markets could be identified. Hemp is used to make a wide variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, biofuel, high-quality animal feeds, building materials, and also health supplements and pharmaceuticals.

Industries such as the plastics industry, which have always been reliant on fossil fuels, are now looking to agriculture to provide sustainable alternatives. With other industries faced with a similar need to decarbonise their operations, agriculture has an important role to play in helping meet climate change targets. Robert will lead a discussion on how the farming industry can meet the challenge of delivering against these targets by leading the way in the sequestration of carbon into clothing, paper, buildings etc.

James Webster –  AHDB Market Intelligence

James Webster

The son of a Suffolk arable farmer, James joined AHDB in 2016. As a Senior Analyst in the AHDB’s Market Intelligence team, he specialises in the cereal and oilseed markets. James’ key areas of focus are domestic milling, wheat markets, global oilseeds and the wider macroeconomic impacts on the UK cereals markets. He also produces the Cereal Quality Survey and AHDB’s work on gross margin analysis.

In the webinar, he will provide the latest insight into the state of play in the domestic and global grain and oilseed markets and offer a view on the decline in global grain markets and the fall in UK wheat prices.

He will also offer an update on the condition of crops and the expectations for harvest. He will look at how the market will shape up as lockdown decreases and offer some insight into alternative markets.

Julian Bell – SRUC

Julian BellJulian Bell, Senior Rural Business Consultant at SRUC, will provide an update on Scottish grain markets and discuss how the recent collapse of Scottish grain trader Alexander Inglis & Son is impacting the industry.

Julian is responsible for delivering business services to farmers, government agencies and Farming Business and provides economic analysis in agriculture, investment appraisal, benchmarking and commodity market analysis. He has many years’ experience in agricultural contract management and consultancy with Scottish, UK and international experience.

Wendy Russell – University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute

Wendy RussellWendy is the Gut Health theme lead and Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the Rowett Institute. Her research focuses on developing healthy foods as part of a resilient food supply chain. This includes identifying the potential of plant-based crops, particularly in protein provision for the future and the exploitation of underutilised species to improve both nutrition and agrobiodiversity.

Wendy works closely with both Scottish and Global Food Producers, as well as the wider Food and Drink Industry to identify new opportunities and was awarded FDF ‘Scientist of the Year’ for this work.

She will discuss the role of healthy Novel Crops for Food & Drink Innovation, as well as how to contribute towards Scotland’s Climate and Biodiversity Targets. 

Event Partners
Event supporters/sponsors