Morrisons partners with farming data firm as part of 2030 Net Zero target

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons partners with Downforce Technologies in retail race to Net Zero. Credit:Getty/Sakorn Sukkasemsakorn
Morrisons partners with Downforce Technologies in retail race to Net Zero. Credit:Getty/Sakorn Sukkasemsakorn

Related tags Net zero emissions Climate change Sustainability

UK-based supermarket chain Morrisons has partnered with land management solutions firm Downforce Technologies to gain access to its soil health and net emissions data.

The British food retailer will utilise Downforce’s data fusion technology at five pilot farms (or ‘Blueprint Farms’) across the UK, with the goal of adopting more sustainable farming practices.

By 2030 Morrisons is aiming to become the first UK supermarket to be supplied by Net Zero carbon British farms.

Downforce’s insight will allow Morrisons to analyse carbon levels in the soil, enabling the retailer to reduce its impact on farms in Northamptonshire, Wales, Cumbria, Scotland and Yorkshire, where the technology will initially be introduced.

Traditionally, monitoring soil health has been expensive and inaccurate, but Downforce technology is designed to measure changes in soil carbon every 10 days.

“Reaching Net Zero is an ambitious goal and one we need to deliver by working to improve soils, biodiversity and landscapes,”​ said technical and sustainability director at Morrisons Sophie Throup.

“By working alongside our farmers and experts like Downforce Technologies, we can help support the farmers supplying us on this important journey. One of our mantras for this project is ‘seeing is believing’ and Downforce Technologies will be crucial here by helping us measure carbon sinks and prove the success of our Blueprint Farms.”

Morrisons is the largest direct customer to British farms, catering to 499 supermarkets and 1,100 convenience stores.

The five pilot farms include both pastoral and arable land use and possess different soil types.

The data collected will then be used to inform the farming practices adopted, which should lead to more sustainable outcomes.

In related news, European bakery products manufacturer Baker & Baker has set its own Net Zero target for 2040.

The bakery firm is targeting significant reductions to its industrial and agricultural emissions by 2030 in the interim, but acknowledged that collaboration with key suppliers was necessary to achieve these goals.

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