Morrisons will incentivise sustainable beef and lamb production by paying an additional 10p/kg for dairy beef finished younger than 18 months and on a sustainable diet.
Details of the criteria for diets are yet to be disclosed, but the retailer said in a letter to producers that those qualifying would be contracted dairy beef suppliers and already on its net zero agriculture programme.
Its dairy beef are grown to a cold carcass weight of 280-400kg, with a target fat class of 3/4L.
The firm plans to extend the premiums to suckler and store finisher cattle in the coming months.
The move is part of a growing food supply chain drive to demonstrate sustainable production, with buyers and processors of farm produce increasingly requiring producers to comply with requirements in this area.
In order to qualify for the premiums and other incentives, farms in Morrisons’ sustainable beef and lamb scheme will have to measure their carbon footprint with Map of Ag, test soil health, audit their biodiversity and monitor resources and waste, with a requirement for action plans to result from these assessments.
See also: Beef production know-how on fwi
Accreditation will be through Red Tractor’s environment module and Morrisons will pay for the first year’s accreditation cost. Producers will then be able to use that accreditation for any customer.
The retailer is also planning to offer free expert advice and discounts on products and services to producers on the scheme and aims to help its 2,100 beef and lamb farmer suppliers reach net zero by 2030.
So far, more than 130 farms have joined its net zero initiative, with a further 500 expected to join by the end of this year.
Further sustainability initiatives are expected in its meat, fruit and vegetable supply from UK producers over the next few years.