Tesco has partnered with WWF to improve farm biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions on dairy farms.
The Big 4 grocer announced that it will be launching a trial with the charity to offer UK dairy farmers subsidies to grow herbal leys, a sustainable livestock feed made with legumes, herbs and plants.
According to the grocer, the benefits of planting herbal leys include increased farm biodiversity, improvements in soil health and water quality, better animal health and a reduced carbon footprint.
The scheme has, so far, provided 15 farmers on Tesco’s Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) with a seed subsidy of 80 per cent to plant the soil-enriching feed.
With the new initiative, Tesco dairy farmers have seen a reduction in carbon emissions of 6.5 per cent since 2016 and aim to cut emissions by a further 10 per cent by 2025.
“We’re immensely proud of the work our dairy farmers do and the great quality milk they provide to our customers”, Tesco agriculture manager Tom Atkins said.
“We want to ensure we’re doing all we can to continue to support our farmers and, in this critical decade for climate and nature, help make our dairy farms some of the most sustainable in the world.
“We will continue to work with our farmers to both reduce carbon emissions and continue to increase the amount of biodiversity on farms.
Atkins continued: “We will also be working together on more innovative initiatives like our herbal leys project, which should bring huge benefits in terms of soil health and biodiversity.”
Dairy farmer Amie Lovatt added: “We jumped at the chance to be included in the trial as it’s important that we all have to find the balance between producing affordable and health food and looking after the environment we live in.
“We believe that herbal leys could provide a perfect answer to that as not only will they improve soil health and structure thanks to their deep roots but are also less reliant on artificial fertilisers.”