Morrisons invests £2m in project with Prince Charles

Supermarket group Morrisons is joining up with one of The Prince of Wales’s charities to develop sustainable British farming practices at its farm in Ayrshire, Scotland.

The farm is intended to be the venue for developing new methods that could improve farmers’ profits and protect the rural environment.

Dalton Philips, Chief Executive of Morrisons said: "We want to help British farmers face the challenge of feeding the growing population and maintaining the commercial and environmental health of the sector against a backdrop of increasing market volatility.

"We have set ourselves the considerable challenge of making the Morrisons farm both commercially and environmentally sustainable and by sharing whatever we learn with our fellow farmers there’s real potential to benefit their own farm businesses."

Morrisons and research partners the Scottish Agricultural College are developing new approaches to making farms more efficient, including a project that aims to breed livestock for improved reproductive rates and more efficient digestion of feed.

The project at Dumfries House will also use carbon footprinting research to drive the efficiency of the farm and develop a series of sustainability measures to show whether improved farming productivity can be achieved without harming the environment – a whole farm approach.

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, said: "Morrisons is one of our largest food retailers and its decision to establish their first sustainable farm in Ayrshire will provide a welcome boost to the local economy and make a significant contribution to sustainable farming in Scotland.

"Scotland has established a strong reputation for food and drink with some of the finest produce in the world. Working with the Scottish Agricultural College, Morrisons will pioneer new techniques to develop low carbon farming that protects our environment while producing high quality food that is also affordable.

The project at Dumfries House is a partnership between Morrisons and The Prince of Wales’ charity, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust.

Morrisons will be investing more than £2m in the 1,000 acre estate over the next five years.

Morrisons is the UK’s fourth largest food retailer with 425 stores, with 10m customers per week and approximately 130,000 staff. It is also the second largest fresh food manufacturer in the UK.

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