Morrisons launches network to support farmers through net-zero transition

Image: Harper Adams University

The British supermarket has partnered with Harper Adams University, an educational establishment in Shropshire specializing in food systems and animal sciences, to deliver the scheme.

Through the scheme, which will be open to 70 farmers from across Morrisons’ own-brand product supply chains initially, farmers will have the chance to learn which interventions could most meaningfully cut the environmental impact of their processes.

They will be able to baseline their soil quality, water stewardship, animal health, emissions and biodiversity – and their knowledge of these topics. They will then be able to access the technical and practical support they need to make improvements.

The scheme will also provide opportunities for research, development and innovation partnerships and pilots.

Harper Adams University has stated that the programme has been designed to support a “holistic” transition to net-zero on farms, which will also have benefits in fields such as on-farm biodiversity, future farm resilience and farmer livelihoods.

Farmers are also being encouraged to participate through the promise of financial rewards from Morrisons, as part of a revamped farmer incentive scheme.

Morrisons’ technical and sustainability director for manufacturing, Sophie Throup, said: “Farmers across our supply chain are already doing a lot of great work in driving forward more sustainable practices.By launching the Morrisons Sustainable Farm Network, we’re hoping to link them up to industry specialists, academic expertise and crucially, other farmers.

“Participating farms will be leading examples of the ways in which we can hone our practices as we transition towards a more sustainable future – not only for other suppliers in the Morrisons supply chain, but also for our food and farming sector as a whole.”

Morrisons has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2035.

For its supply chain including farms, it is targeting a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030. Morrisons is aiming for all of its farmer and grower partners in the UK to achieve net-zero business models by 2030, as part of its work towards this target.

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