Ancient Grain - Innovation in cultivation, processing and marketing of primary forms of wheat

An EIP Operational Group worked on the reintroduction of ancient wheat species in the context of current practices applied at farm level.

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Project summary: 

The cultivation of ancient wheat varieties gives the opportunity to obtain grain for consumption with a higher content of biologically active ingredients compared to common wheat. For this purpose, an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) Operational Group was set up to restore the cultivation and economic use of the original forms of round grain and Persian wheat with increased nutritional value. 

The operational group developed and tested new cultivation technologies (low-input conventional and organic) and new production processes (bread, cereals, pasta). It also developed a marketing strategy that is common to the members of the consortium (scientists, farmers and entrepreneurs, local government and advisory institutions) to create supply and demand for the project’s grain and primary wheat products.

Project results: 

Ancient types of wheat (round grain and Persian) were restored to both organic and conventional cultivation on several farms, using environmentally friendly technologies. As the availability of seed material increases, this production will be expanded to other farms, with growing demand shown by the numerous enquiries about seed availability from Facebook users. 

More than 3 000 consumers took part in a tasting of the project’s wheat products. The Polish Organic Food Association started distributing the grain and flour, and more than a dozen craft bakeries have carried out baking tests and are preparing to introduce new bakery products which use primary wheat and round grain flour.