Morrisons customers have raised Â£ 20million to support farms and the countryside by choosing to pay a little more for Morrisons products For farmers interval.
The funds were reinvested in a range of agricultural programs to improve biodiversity and further improve animal welfare, at a time when UK farmers faced financial uncertainty due to Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In October 2015, Morrisons was the first UK retailer to launch a dairy product with part of the purchase price going directly to farmers. Milk for farmers was the original product – at 10p per liter more than Morrisons brand standard milk – with the full difference passed on to its dairy farmers. The range now includes Cheese For Farmers, Cream For Farmers and Eggs for farmers which also give customers the option of paying a little more to directly support farmers.
The funds of For farmers range have helped the agricultural and natural environment. Morrisons For “laughing eggs” farmers, costing an additional 1p per egg more, allowed farmers to invest money in planting wood and creating insect-friendly wildflower habitats for their free-range chickens. To date, 169 acres have been planted. This month, a similar insect habitat program is rolling out to all Morrisons dairy farms.
Money from Milk for farmers range has enabled more investment in breeding the 140 dairy farmers aligned with Morrisons. Farmers sell directly to Morrisons Milk for farmers grazed their cows an average of 224 days last year, more than a hundred days more than necessary.
Dairy farmers have also invested the extra money in new rotating brushes, mattresses and scrapers for cows, and footbaths to reduce lameness.
Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture at Morrisons, said: âOur farmers continue to face some uncertainty due to the impact of Brexit and the pandemic. We are therefore happy to have transferred Â£ 20million from our For farmers to help fund initiatives that would otherwise have suffered from underinvestment. It’s great to see that many customers want to pay more to support UK farmers – and want to buy dairy from cows that have been grazed and eggs from free-range hens that can roam in wooded areas and enriched grasslands. .
Morrisons is UK agriculture’s largest supermarket customer and buys direct from over 3,000 farmers and producers. Morrisons is 100% British for its fresh meat, milk and eggs and always buys British produce first in season and when available.
Morrisons has already embarked on a program to be fully sourced from UK net zero carbon farms by 2030, five years ahead of the market. Over the next nine years, Morrisons will work with its 3,000 farmers and producers to produce ânet zeroâ meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables at an affordable price. As part of the program, Morrisons will also work with universities, agricultural and rural organizations and carbon experts.