Current Cereal Growing Situation In Five Northern Regions And The Potential For Using Local Cereals In Food And Drink Products
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The status of cereal cultivation in Iceland, northern Norway, Faroe Islands, Orkney and Newfoundland has been studied in a project supported by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA). In Orkney, Iceland and northern Norway cereal cultivation is well established while the Faroe Islands are re-establishing, and Newfoundland is starting, cultivation. The project transfers knowledge between the regions and aims to increase the value of cereal products, indicate new innovative products and increase cultivation of cereals. In this report, the cereal value chain is described to inspire companies and initiators to identify new opportunities and create new jobs. Total cereal grain production in the five regions was about 38,000 tons in 2014 while imports were about 146,000 tons, just for Iceland, Orkney and Newfoundland. The population of the region is about 1.4 million and the annual number of visitors is above 2 million. Considerable amounts of cereal-based products are consumed in the regions. These include many different foods (bakery products, breakfast cereals, snacks, flour, porridges etc.) and beverages (e.g. beer and whisky) and offer many opportunities for using local cereals. Recent trends in the cereal food market are very conducive to the development of new products and greater local production within the project regions. Interest in local food and drinks is increasing and food producers need to respond to increasing demand from visitors. In all of the regions, barley is the most important cereal grown. Barley contains several health-enhancing nutritional components including β-glucan and antioxidants and, with growing awareness of the need for healthy eating, there is increased interest in it as a raw material for the food industry. Barley is also used for the production of malt which is a key ingredient for the production of beer and whisky. The number of microbreweries has grown and they are now found in remote regions. For breweries to distinguish themselves from competitors, product differentiation is becoming increasingly important and an attractive way of doing this is to use local ingredients (barley, malt and herbs). However, in order to utilise local barley for beverage production, it will usually be necessary to develop a local capacity for malting.