Angus Wheat Consultants Ltd (AWC) is a consultancy business established by wheat breeder Bill Angus to enhance variety development through ‘public-private’ partnerships and to help train a new generation of wheat breeders. In addition, AWC works with clients worldwide to increase wheat yields on farm while maintaining quality and optimising inputs.

Bill Angus led the highly-successful Nickerson/Limagrain wheat breeding programme for over 20 years. This brought to UK farmers varieties such as Claire, Einstein, Alchemy and Invicta  - securing a market leading position for the company. He set up AWC when he moved on from his role as Wheat Research and Development Manager for Groupe Limagrain, wanting to return to ‘front line’ wheat breeding. He could see that he was becoming too remote from the ‘real world’ of breeding and growing wheat, and missed the dayto-day interaction with farmers, processors and commercial partners.

When he established the business, Bill set out a guiding philosophy that is unchanged today: “I believe that we are on the cusp of a new era in wheat breeding and we must enhance the relationships between the public and private sectors. We have world-leading science and we need to get this to the market place.

“AWC is at the cutting edge of making this happen by translating research into output through the development of new varieties - and the breeding community must have influence on publicly funded research through ‘public-private’ partnerships This is pivotal to meeting the needs of Governments in their aspirations for enhanced food security with the added challenge of Brexit.

“The UK has a world-leading average wheat yield of well over 8t/ha – and there is a recent UK-funded project to drive UK wheat yields towards 20t/ha over the next 20 years. It is one of my ambitions to help to achieve this.”

This philosophy has been followed through by engagement with organisations such as BBSRC, BMGF and CIMMYT as well as through relationships with private sector breeders and agronomy companies.