Coleraine farmer, Alan Anderson is awarded White’s NI Grower of the Year
Coleraine based farmer Alan Anderson has been awarded the John Finnan Oat Quality Award by White’s Oats for his commitment to Oat research and trials and his innovative approach to producing sustainable, high quality porridge oats.
One of 42 local growers growing oats for the Co-Armagh based Oat Miller, Alan has been supplying oats to White’s for five years and also produces grain for feed and seed helped by his uncle John Anderson and father.
Alan’s farm is one of four sites in Northern Ireland which has been involved in a joint initiative with White’s in conducting innovative oat research trials that will continue to raise the benchmark in the growing and milling of high quality oats
As part of this trial Alan hosted the annual on farm crop walk, where growers were able to walk the trial plots and see first-hand which oats grow best in Northern Ireland; taking into account regional variations such as soil type, climate, as well as different nutrient management techniques.
Alan Anderson said: “I am so delighted to have been recognised by White’s and presented with this award. The collaboration between White’s and its growers strengthens year on year and the trial plots have been hugely beneficial. Research and development plays a crucial part in our agricultural processes, the importance of which cannot be underestimated.”
Now in its sixth year, The John Finnan Oat Quality Award was launched in memory of Dr John Finnan, Senior Crop Researcher at Teagasc Crop Research Centre. John’s work contributed greatly to the oat industry and the development of oat production in Ireland and continues to inform and support White’s Oats growers ensuring its oats are grown to the highest of standards for its award-winning porridge oats and oat cereals.
Steven McAllister, Whites Agri supply chain said: “By keeping up to date with the latest research and carrying out trials on his farm, Alan, our Grower of the Year, has shown his commitment to providing the end consumer with sustainable, nutritious and high quality porridge oats and oat cereal products. This award is testament to all the effort and hard work Alan has demonstrated throughout the year. His willingness to engage in the research trials and inform our other growers through knowledge sharing has seen him continually improve the yield and quality of his oats. He is a very deserving recipient.
“We source 100% of our conventional oats from Irish farms such as Alan’s and our direct relationship with our growers reinforces how committed we are in supporting sustainable agriculture practices and in delivering a sustainable sourcing model.
“Growing collaboratively like this means we continue to deliver great flavour, taste and nutrition in every bowl of White’s porridge and granola produced daily,” he added.
The criteria around judging was based around five key areas. Among those mill quality which measures Hullability, Kernel Content and Bushel weight; on-farm compliance; sustainable agriculture, food and farming against high environmental standards; and technical development around commitment to oat research and trials.
If you’re interested in becoming a grower for White’s, contact Sean Kane, White’s Agri Supply Chain Manager on 07710258232.