Morrisons is launching a ‘sustainable beef and lamb scheme’ to recognise, help and financially support beef and lamb farmers working to help the environment.
The scheme will offer livestock premiums, green discounts, subsidised audits and free environmental advice to help and reward farmers for reducing carbon emissions, sourcing greener feeds and putting in place measures to improve biodiversity and soil health.
Morrisons has already embarked on a programme to be directly supplied by net zero carbon British farms by 2030, five years ahead of the market.
Over 130 beef and lamb farms have joined the supermarket’s net-zero agriculture programme, with 500 farms expected to be on board by the end of this year.
Upon joining the sustainable beef and lamb scheme, farmers will be offered, free advice on carbon missions, animal nutrition and biodiversity, including tree planting and landscape assessments.
Furthermore, they will be offered subsidised environmental audits, soil testing and a range of discounts on products and services which will help improve farm sustainability.
They will also be offered payment premiums for their meat. For example, a 10p per kg premium will be paid for rearing one type of cattle under 18 months old to a sustainable diet.
The supermarket hopes its new ‘sustainable beef and lamb scheme’ will be assessed by Assured Food Standards (Red Tractor) through its ‘Environment Module’, announced last year, to recognise each farm’s greener commitments.
“UK agriculture currently accounts for 10 per cent of all UK greenhouse gas emissions and we know our customers want to eat meat that’s produced in a sustainable way,” Morrisons Head of agriculture Sophie Throup said.
“True sustainable farming means looking at the whole farm and all of its environmental aspects – and putting nature right at the middle.
Throup added “We are investing in the sustainable beef and lamb scheme to maintain value for customers while helping farmers reach net zero and go beyond to become nature positive.
“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.”
Red Tractor chief executive Jim Moseley added: 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.”
Over the next eight years, Morrison will work with its 3,000 farmers and growers to produce affordable net-zero carbon meat, fruit and vegetables.