Growers supplying Asda’s fresh produce packers are to recieve business tuition worth £300,000.
The Produce Change initiative will offer training to the 250 growers in England, Scotland and Wales who supply a range of goods to Asda’s five packers, Fenmarc Produce, Lincolnshire Field Products, MH Poskitt, Taypack Potatoes and Parks.
The project is designed to improve growers’ skills in areas such as collaboration, business planning, marketing and resource management.
It will be funded by Defra, the Scottish Agricultural College and Lantra, and managed by agribusiness consultant Bidwells.
Asda agriculture strategy manager Chris Brown said: “By working with our growers we aim to have the most efficient supply chain in the retail industry.
“The benefits of this project are clear. More collaboration and a better use of resources will drive up product quality and help lower retail prices for customers, while giving greater stability of returns for our farmers.
“Engaging with our supply base will bring commercial benefits all round.”
Defra spokeswoman Nichola Newell said the department was funding the scheme because it filled a gap in training provision within the horticulture sector.
She added: “We hope that, ultimately, growers attending the training will be able to improve their competitiveness, increase income levels, and secure their futures in farming.”