FAI’s 1,850-acre farm at Wytham, which is run in collaboration with the University of Oxford, works with food businesses and partners to develop and trial practical and commercially viable solutions to some of the key challenges facing the food chain.
President Higgins, who was accompanied by the Irish Food Board - Bord Bia, was briefed on FAI’s work, shown presentations on its current British and Irish sustainability initiatives, including a five point plan for reducing lameness in sheep and investigating alternative forage feed for pigs to counter the increasing costs of cereal-based protein feed, and given a tour of the farm by its staff.
Malcolm Pye, Chief Executive of Benchmark Holdings plc and one of the founders of FAI, a subsidiary of Benchmark Holdings, said: “We are honoured to welcome President Higgins to our farm in Oxford, where the sustainable food practices our technical experts develop are adopted and refined and, later, implemented by our customers around the world.
“Benchmark, through its Sustainability Sciences division and FAI, has played an active role in Irish agriculture and aquaculture, working alongside prominent Irish companies and other large corporations with sites in Ireland. We look forward to developing this further in the future.”