Date of release: Thursday, September 20, 2018

 NRI at borough marketThe Greenwich Co-operative Development agency (GCDA) and the University of Greenwich have become the first importers of fully traceable and certified gluten free High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) into the UK.

To launch the HQCF - a new, exciting and versatile food ingredient – which helps create a sustainable future for small-holder and female farm workers in West Africa, Borough Market hosted a HQCF showcase yesterday (Wednesday 19 September), including cookery demos, free tasters and small bags of High Quality Cassava flour for sale.

The cookery demo featured Chef Manpreet from the famous Café Spice cooking onion bhajis and vegetarian sausages using cassava flour. Several Borough Market traders also experimented with the product and made Gnocchi, Brazilian cheesy dough balls and even brownies which were available to try on the day.

Professor Ben Bennett, Deputy Director of the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich said: "High Quality Cassava Flour is a super-flour in lots of ways: it is gluten free, it has high levels of resistant starch which helps gut-health, has good levels of fibre and it supports small scale farmers in some of the poorest parts of the world." 

The flour was sourced from a factory in Nigeria supported by one of NRI's projects "Cassava Adding Value for Africa". Prof Bennett added, "At the NRI, we're keen to help these small scale farmers find new markets for their products and we're thrilled to be a part of this event, which aims to do just that."

Claire Pritchard, Chief Executive of GCDA said: "London has one of the most varied and creative food scenes in the world and we have real purchasing power. By importing the flour, GCDA hopes to create a market for this exciting gluten free product which in turn will help support agricultural workers in Africa, many of whom are women."

David Matchett, Market Development Manager, Borough Market said: "Borough Market has always been at the centre of food innovation, and continues to lead the way in ethics and sustainability. Our traders are very conscious and sensitive to the environmental and ecological impact of food production and distribution, and we're pleased to be bringing High Quality Cassava Flour to a wider audience. HQCF is a really versatile product and Londoners can use their purchasing power to make a real difference to farm workers in West Africa."