Press release

Perfect pints to preserve the planet

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Pubs will be able to save money, serve better pints to punters, and conserve significant amounts of energy using technology being developed.

Pubs will be able to save almost £3,000 a year, serve better pints to punters, and conserve significant amounts of energy using state of the art drinks cooling technology being developed with Government backing.

Twenty one businesses are getting government funding to develop technology that can boost food and drink production and improve the environment, Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice announced today.

One of the winning entries, from bar equipment suppliers Brewfitt, will develop an on-tap cooling system for pubs which they estimate could save pubs approximately £700 a year in energy costs and £2,000 worth of wasted drink.

Instead of beer being cooled in the cellar, warming in pipes on its way to the bar and being cooled again just before serving, the system will use far less energy. Drinks will be chilled as they’re needed which will mean better drinks, served at optimum temperatures, with less wastage.

Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice said:

“Britain’s at the forefront of innovation and at a time of soaring world population growth, harnessing this talent for the food and farming industry will create significant economic growth and improve the environment. That’s why the Government is investing more than £15 million in this research.

“I want to congratulate every award winner for their passion and ideas. I believe these projects could make a huge impact on the industry and, in time, the environment.”

Other award winners include: a digital project making buying local food more convenient and affordable online; a farm irrigation system to dramatically reduce water use; and research into reducing potato diseases without using pesticides.

Two competitions, co-funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); the Technology Strategy Board; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Scottish Government, were announced at the Farming, Food and Drink Innovation Summit in March. The aim was to inspire innovation that leads to more efficient production with less impact on the environment.

£500,000 was on offer to small and medium sized businesses through grants of up to £25,000. A further £15 million is available to businesses to invest in projects that will increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of food processing and manufacturing. The results of this competition will be announced later this year.


Further information about the awards and the 21 winners is available from / 020 7238 5054

More information about the larger prize of up to £15 million, being awarded this October is available from the Technology Strategy Board.

The farming, food and drink sector contributed £87 billion to the UK economy in 2010.

It currently provides around 3.7 million jobs.

More than 6,000 new products come to market every year showing the huge potential for growth within the sector.

Defra spends approximately £65m a year on farming, food and drink research and development, while the UK Government overall spends £400 million.

Funding for the competitions comes from a combination of Defra, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Scottish Government.