Local MP, Bim Afolami, is happy to support a partnership with clear common ground – excellence and innovation in the development of agriculture.

  • 25
  • JAN
  • 2018

Today saw the official opening of Timac Agro UK’s new head office on the Rothamsted campus, by Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden.

“When people ask me ‘what is the Industrial Strategy?’ I say this sort of partnership between Timac Agro and Rothamsted…developing a fantastic ecosystem of research, development and real-life improvement into people’s lives,” said Afolami.

“This is it. A partnership between a research and development centre and a dynamic, global pioneering company. That is the Industrial Strategy in action,” he added.

“This is putting in place what we need in Britain. Now we need to build awareness of the amazing work that is going to be done through this partnership, and I’m happy to do all I can to help,” said Afolami.

Afolami became Rothamsted’s local MP in February 2017. He has pledged to safeguard the interests of Rothamsted’s R&D capabilities as negotiations over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU intensify. (see news, Bim Afolami “absolutely full throated” in support of Rothamsted)

Timac Agro UK, which specialises in crop, soil, plant and livestock nutrition, moved to the Hertfordshire site at the end of last year to further develop its research and industry links.

Cyril Cappe, General Manager, Timac Agro UK. Credit: Rothamsted ResearchCyril Cappe - "We are at Rothamsted to serve our development"

The move built on a long-standing link between the company and Rothamsted’s scientists, sparked initially by Malcolm Hawkesford, head of the Department of Plant Sciences and leader of the institute’s strategic involvement in the Designing Future Wheat programme.

Cyril Cappe, general manager at Timac Agro UK, said the company had been attracted by the overlap in core values – excellence, innovation and sustainability in agriculture. “At the end of the day, this is why we are at Rothamsted, to serve our development,” he said.

In order to build solutions for farmers, Cappe said his company needs to take three key steps: to develop its people; to build itself into an industry agro that’s flexible in providing solutions in the field; and to invest in research.

It is this final key ingredient that brings Timac Agro UK, a subsidiary of the Roullier Group, to the Rothamsted campus, Cappe said.

Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive, Rothamsted Research. Credit: Rothamsted ResearchAchim Dobermann - "Companies join us in finding practical solutions for farmers"

The move was welcomed by Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research. “About 5 years ago, we started developing around the institute, so that not only our own science but that of companies with a similar mind-set and goals to our own could come and join us in finding practical solutions for farmers,” he said at the opening.

“Rothamsted’s entire history is built on soils and crop rotation and now livestock, too,” noted Dobermann. “Timac Agro has decided to set up shop, and it’s a perfect fit for us.”

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes

About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.