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Research centres

Fresh Produce Research Centre


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The Fresh Produce Research Centre is a multidisciplinary team addressing UK and global issues in horticultural crop production along the length of the supply chain - with active research on crop breeding, crop production, post-harvest physiology and food safety.

We have expertise in field vegetables, soft fruit and protected vegetables.


Our current and recent research includes a number of studies aiming to development better quality lettuce –firstly, by encouraging robust establishment of plants in the field at an early stage and investigating the effect of in-field variation on yield. Secondly, by reducing discolouration both before and after harvest by exploring climatic and agronomic factors and using novel sources of genetic material and determining specific genetic loci harbouring useful quality traits using diversity sets and mapping populations.  Thirdly, by investigating sources of resistance to important pathogens such as Botrytis and Sclerotinia. We are also investigating abiotic stress tolerance in Brassica oleracea with the aim of identifying lines suitable for downstream breeding approaches to improve crop growth after stress at the seedling stage.

Staff and PhD students

Click on a profile for details of their research expertise and projects they are currently involved in:

Research notes


Research notes provide explanatory summaries of our current and completed research projects, aimed at non-specialists, students and practitioners in farming and associated industries.

Harper Adams University is a partner in Food and Farming Futures, the independent, collaborative news and information source for farming and food. You can also find research notes for any of our research projects on the Food and Farming Futures website.


Fresh produce in a time of COVID Fresh produce in a time of COVID In the days following the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, the fresh produce sector moved into the news headlines with shelves stripped bare of fruit and veg, empty boxes in the produce aisle and produce destined for restaurants and school kitchens with nowhere to go. As things have settled down into a new normal, the fresh produce supply chain has addressed many of these challenges but it appears that we won’t return to the old ways of working anytime soon. And who could have predicted that farmers and growers would be officially recognised as key workers! Posted 5 May 2020

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