Morrisons has opened up its beef supply chain to its farmers participating in the sustainable dairy initiative Arla UK 360.
The supermarket's dairy farmers that are part of the Arla initiative will be able to sell bull and beef calves to its beef rearing partner Buitelaar Production.
The Arla UK 360 programme works with retailers to ensure dairy farmers follow sustainable best practices in areas such as animal welfare, environment and natural resources.
Sophie Throup, agricultural manager at Morrisons, said: “As we work with Arla farmers making the transition to the Arla UK 360 standards, we see the extensive efforts they are making. As we own our own abattoirs and end to end meat production, we saw an opportunity to connect the supply chains to support our dairy farmers even more.
“Having worked with Buitelaar since 2009 on developing the dairy beef market, we already have a good working relationship to build on through the extended programme for Morrisons Arla farmers,” she added.
Among the UK 360 programme requirements are that no healthy calf can be killed before eight weeks old and farmers must carry out carbon footprint assessments.
Adam Buitelaar, managing director at the Buitelaar Group, said: “We share the view of Arla that every calf should have a value and purpose. With 30% of UK beef being imported into the UK, working across the supply chain and across both beef and dairy in this way could prove a big step in making Britain further self-sufficient in beef.”
Graham Wilkinson, agriculture director at Arla Foods UK, commented: “This move by Morrisons to open up its supply chain to further support our owners represents everything the Arla UK 360 programme envisioned.
“Arla’s farmer owners see opportunities to evolve farming if we make a supply chain that works for everyone. This decision and the support through the supply chain with Buitelaar is the perfect example of how bigger change can be delivered in agriculture if we all work together,” he added.
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