A new gluten-free “super” flour from West Africa is launching at Borough Market.

The Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) has become the first British business to import fully traceable High Quality Cassava Flour into the UK, in order to help create a sustainable future for female farm workers in West Africa.

Cassava is an edible root which is naturally gluten-free.  In Africa, Cassava grows easily and can be stored safely in the field and harvested when needed, which means it provides a secure source of food. High Quality Cassava Flour is produced by a huge number of small farmers across west Africa, many of whom are women.

GCDA has donated several kilos of High Quality Cassava Flour to London food entrepreneurs who have been working on creative ways of using it in their dishes, as well as several Borough Market traders who will be experimenting with this product at a Borough Market showcase tomorrow (Wednesday 19 September at 11am-3pm).

Free tasters and samples made from Cassava flour, including baked goods, Indian street food and chocolate will all be available in the Market Hall, and visitors will be able to buy small sacks of the raw product to create their own dishes at home. There will also be a special one-off cookery demonstration running from 1pm-2.30pm in the Market Hall, which will show how this new product can be used as a key ingredient for chefs and home cooks alike.

GCDA, along with experts from the Natural Resources Institute at University of Greenwich, hope that by raising awareness of this product, they can help make a real social impact on communities in Africa.

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.”

Professor Ben Bennett, deputy director of the NRI at the University of Greenwich said: “HQCF is a super-flour in lots of ways: it is gluten free, it has high levels of resistant starch which helps gut-health and it supports small scale farmers in some of the poorest parts of the world. 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.”

The demonstration is on Wednesday 19 September at 11am-3pm at Borough Market, 8 Southwark St, SE1 1TL. Phone: 020 7407 1002. www.boroughmarket.org.uk