KM Column - East Malling Research - 7 March 2019
‘East Malling is more famous abroad than it is at home’. That’s what I said in my very first speech in Parliament. I was, of course, referring to East Malling Research (EMR); a globally recognised centre of excellence, and one of the few researched-based organisations in the world looking at challenges faced by agriculture, horticulture and food production.
Being so close to home, it’s possible that we don’t fully appreciate, or even know, about the amazing work that they carry out, or the impact their work has on what we eat every day. I certainly didn’t until I visited it a few weeks ago. One of their most recent creations, the award-winning Malling Centenary strawberry, you’ve probably seen in your local supermarket. A strawberry bred over eight years to get the perfect colour, flavour and size.
The work that EMR are doing and have been doing since they first opened in 1913, is already incredibly impressive, but they’re hoping to expand and do more. They want to modernise their infrastructure and install state-of-the-art plant growing facilities. And I want them to do it too.
Having this facility in East Malling is so important, not just for our local job prospects and local economy, but for the future of our plant and environmental research. As I said, this is a world-famous facility we’re lucky enough to have in our community, and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow and develop even more over the next few years.