Morrisons, one of Britain’s largest food retailers, is joining up with one of the Prince of Wales’ charities to develop a blueprint for profitable and sustainable British farming at its farm in Ayrshire, Scotland.
The Morrisons Farm at Dumfries House, Ayrshire will become the home of the retailer’s applied research into farming sustainability. Morrisons is working with British farmers and leading scientists to develop new methods that could improve farmers’ profits and protect the rural environment.
Speaking at a Conference with HRH the Prince of Wales and the First Minister of Scotland, 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.”
At the heart of the project is a knowledge transfer programme so that information can be shared with farmers around the country. The ultimate aim is to improve the commercial and environmental health of British farming and secure the supply of sustainable, nutritious and affordable food for all.
Morrisons and research partners such as the Scottish Agricultural College are developing new approaches to making farms more efficient such as:
These indicators will help farmers make decisions that are right for their farm business and the environment based on a balanced scorecard of financial and environmental indicators. These projects also aim to achieve higher quality products for Morrisons’ customers.
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.
“I hope that Morrisons investment at Dumfries House will encourage more people to buy good quality, fresh, seasonal produce and build a legacy for Scotland's Year of Food and Drink.”
Morrisons continues to demonstrate a clear commitment to British farming and is the only major retailer to sell 100% fresh British meat in all its stores. In addition, Morrisons is the only supermarket to buy whole crop vegetables from British farmers. ?
The farming project at Dumfries House is a partnership between Morrisons and the Prince of Wales’ charity, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust. Both have agreed a Statement of Principles about how the 1000 acre estate will be farmed and Morrisons will be investing more than £2 million over the next five years.
Morrisons’ vertical integration is its main difference in the food retailing sector – it is the 2nd largest fresh food manufacturer in the UK.
Visit the website
See the Morrisons website for more information about this project.
Designed in the 1750s by the Adam Brothers, and saved for the nation in 2007 by HRH Prince Charles, Dumfries House has an unrivalled collection of furniture by Thomas Chippendale, Alexander Peter, Francis Brodie, and William Mathie. The Estate also has a working farm, run in partnership with Morrisons, and facilities to host weddings, banquets, meetings and conferences.
Postal address: Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire, KA18 2NJ