Waitrose Leckford Farm accelerates race to net zero

Waitrose is set to use its Leckford Estate farm as a “test bed” for innovation in its race to net zero.   

The retailer will use the farm to “facilitate radical change” over the next 15 years by experimenting with a variety of eco-friendly agricultural techniques. 

Its proposed changes include planting trees to promote biodiversity, using regenerative soil practices and reducing water usage in a bid to conserve its resources. 

It has also kicked off sustainable energy projects such as its biomethane trial and its investment in low-emissions autonomous machinery with the Small Robot Company. 

The farm will experiment with a variety of science-based soil and regenerative agriculture methods over the 15-year process. 

READ MORE: Shoppers outraged as Waitrose charges £3 for ‘unpacked’ orders

Further initiatives include sending imperfect fruit to juice and cider producers, sending farm byproducts to external companies to use for natural energy sources and employing mixed farming methods to strengthen soil and increase its biodiversity.  

The supermarket will also share its body of findings with farmers, suppliers and other interested parties to increase widespread industry participation.  

“I have seen at first hand some of the innovations Waitrose and Partners are developing at Leckford to meet their net zero by 2035 ambitions across their UK farming network,” Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes said. 

“It is so vital that we look at our farming systems and make sure the regenerative agriculture techniques and learnings at Leckford are spread through the supply network. 

“I am confident this will help farmers make food production as kind to nature and the planet as possible.” 

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