Formation of a school of sustainable food and farming at Harper Adams University
Morrisons have developed their ‘Net Zero’ farming ambitions into a more holistic model to include resilience, animal welfare and biodiversity, so championing all the issues customers care most strongly about and not creating unintended consequences (e.g. intensive farming for lower emissions but poorer customer perceived welfare). As such, this approach aligns more with the Sustainability model needed. To support the delivery of this complex multi-dimensional approach Morrisons have agreed to support the formation of a School of Sustainable Food and Farming through a strategic partnership with Harper Adams University, England’s pre-eminent specialist Agricultural and Land Use University, and RAFT solutions. This school will:
- target production research into areas to lower emissions whilst improving sustainability including (but not limited to): breed choice and diet composition; productivity improvements for better yields; building design; renewables; precision agricultural engineering including sensors and pen side diagnostics.
- translate the research into practical steps (including where relevant, training materials) to help farmers make the change in farming practices required over the next 10 years using established training brands such as Farmskills linking RAFT solutions with HAU.
- provide a platform for the translation and scaling of research for whole value-chain application.
- provide farm investment into capital projects which will benefit the vision driven through direct farmer engagement with the school.
- link Morrisons customer insight back into Harper Adams University and RAFT solutions teaching and wider research programme thus improving connectivity, transparency and appreciation across the school.
- create a ‘Sustainable Farming placement’ scheme with the specific remit of covering the balanced metrics of climate, welfare, biodiversity and productivity.
- include working with the governance system and farm project groups for insight and results.