Morrisons have launched the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Scheme. It aims to help farmers boost their environmental credentials and reward them for doing so.
Protecting family farming
It will encourage farmers to:
- Reduce carbon emissions.
- Source greener feeds.
- Put in place measures to become land and nature positive – by improving things like biodiversity and soil health.
- Become animal and enterprise positive – by focusing on aspects like herd health and protecting family farming.
Advice and discounts
Through the scheme farmers will be offered:
- Free advice on carbon emissions, animal nutrition and biodiversity – including tree planting and landscape assessments.
- Subsidised environmental audits and soil testing.
- A range of discounts on products and services which will help improve farm sustainability.
- Payment premiums for their meat.
“In Britain we produce some of the most environmentally sustainable beef and lamb in the world and this type of investment, with the relevant advice and incentives, will help livestock farmers build their climate-friendly farming credentials even further.”
Richard Findlay, NFU Livestock Board chair
Red Tractor assurance
Morrisons hope that the scheme will be assessed by Red Tractor through its ‘Environment Module’, announced last year, to recognise each farm’s greener commitments.
Support and commitment to British agriculture
NFU Livestock Board chair Richard Findlay said: “It’s great to see Morrisons building on their longstanding support and commitment to British agriculture with this initiative.
“In Britain we produce some of the most environmentally sustainable beef and lamb in the world and this type of investment, with the relevant advice and incentives, will help livestock farmers build their climate-friendly farming credentials even further.
“It will also help us demonstrate the sustainability of British beef and lamb to our customers which is vital in helping them make informed decisions when shopping.”
Measures relevant on farm
“I look forward to seeing more detail of the requirements for this new environmental standard,” he continued.
“To ensure its success, the NFU has recommended that the beef and lamb sector Technical Advisory Committee is consulted to ensure that the measures are relevant on farm and benefit the environment, the customer and farm businesses, as well as understanding how farmers can meaningfully engage.”
Sustainably produced meat
Sophie Throup, head of agriculture at Morrisons, said: “UK agriculture currently accounts for 10% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions and we know our customers want to eat meat that’s produced in a sustainable way.
“True sustainable farming means looking at the whole farm and all of its environmental aspects – and putting nature right at the middle. We are investing in the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Scheme to Morrisons' own 20 sites making meat, fruit and veg, fish, bakery and fresh food products maintain value for customers while helping farmers reach net zero and go beyond to become nature positive. The whole farm can be part of the solution.”
Nutrient rich food
“We aim to significantly reduce carbon emissions in meat through improvements to what our animals eat and we’ll offset the remainder with initiatives such as sensitive tree planting and soil sequestration,” she continued.
“But it’s also important to recognise that sheep and cattle largely graze on grass from their home farm, that their manures improve the soil health and biodiversity of the landscape, and that they are a nutrient rich food. All of which can also significantly improve sustainability.”
A common industry approach
Jim Moseley, CEO at Red Tractor, said: “Sustainability and the environment are increasingly important to consumers – so retailers, caterers and brands are responding to this. Red Tractor’s ‘Environment Module’ is aimed at developing a common industry approach, that will enable our farmer members to meet the requirements of their customers, without the need for multiple programmes.
“We relish the opportunity to work with Morrisons, who are proud supporters of British meat, to demonstrate the green credentials of British farmers.”