Morrisons becomes first supermarket to partner with The Institute For Agriculture and Horticulture
Published:09 July 2024

Morrisons has announced today at the Great Yorkshire Show its collaboration with The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH) to support its farmers on the journey to net zero. 

As the biggest direct customer of UK agriculture, Morrisons will trial TIAH’s digital platform, part-funded by DEFRA, to help address the skills gaps in agriculture.

TIAH, together with the School of Sustainable Food & Farming at Harper Adams University, has developed four distinct modules offering farmers a step-by-step approach to learning the key information.  The topics will cover:

  • Calving best practice
  • Common beef disease
  • Measuring and improving growth
  • Efficient forage.

The news comes after Morrisons, McDonald’s and the NFU founded the School of Sustainable Food & Farming at Harper Adams University, Shropshire in 2022 to support farmers to produce food more sustainably.  It followed a report by Lord Curry of Food & Farming Futures, who worked with Professor James Lowenberg-DeBoer and Professor Michael Lee from Harper Adams to examine how agriculture can be supported and co-ordinated to address the productivity gap in UK agriculture.

The  School has already had great success in welcoming more than 100 farmers to Morrisons stores where events have encouraged networking, engagement and helped provide the farmers with a deeper understanding of the journey their produce goes on from their farms to supermarket shelves.  A further calendar of events is planned for the upcoming months.

Sophie Throup, Technical and Sustainability Director at Myton Food Group for Morrisons, said: “Progress towards net zero in agriculture requires constant innovation, new thinking and challenging the accepted practices. We’re proud to be the first retailer to partner with TIAH to support our livestock farmers in reducing their environmental impact. We are looking forward to testing and trialling new practices with 20 of our farmers to help us develop the next phase of our march towards net zero by 2030.  Better information leads to better practices and this new partnership will help deliver that.” 

Lord Curry said: “I am delighted to see a major retailer partnering with TIAH to support knowledge exchange with our nation’s food producers. It is vital our farmers have access to information that supports sustainable food production and I applaud Morrisons for taking this step forward. This is groundbreaking and a spring board for our nation’s farmers.”  

Stephen Jacob, Chief Executive of TIAH, said: “We are pleased to be working with Morrisons to develop this unique programme to support livestock farmers with their sustainability goals. We will work to ensure this trial will enable us to learn about the way in which farmers want to access and action learning for impact on their farms.” 

Morrisons is committed to introducing sustainable products across all areas of the business through lower emissions sourcing and reducing the amount of plastic used. This work forms part of Morrisons ambition to be completely supplied by net zero carbon British farms by 2030 - five years ahead of the market. Last year, Morrisons became the first supermarket to introduce its own carbon neutral egg.