There are currently 11 Group 3 varieties on the 2015/16 AHDB Recommended List, four of which have joined in the past two years, providing plenty of new options in a category that once accounted for half of the market, yet today represents just 10-15%.
UK soft wheat is quite unique and has always attracted a reasonably good premium as there’s such a diverse range of markets it can go into, says Mark Isaacson of Hitchin-based flour miller Bowman’s.
After so much focus on Group 4 varieties in previous years, it is great to see Group 3 varieties coming through, such as Britannia and Zulu, that can deliver higher yields and grain quality capable of attracting a premium, yet aren’t expensive to grow.
Alongside domestic biscuit, cake-making and distilling markets, there is a strong export market for uks specification soft wheat to Spain, Portugal and North Africa, says Dorit Cohen of AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds.
Buyers in these countries struggle to match the quality characteristics of uks wheat from anywhere else. As the consumption of European-style biscuits is increasing in Morocco and Algeria, we’re seeing demand for biscuit-quality wheat slowly increasing.