Morrisons has pledged to improve the sustainability of the British cheese supply chain by establishing initiatives with First Milk.

The retailer is working with dairy farmers in Ayrshire to develop projects to boost on-farm efficiencies. These could include commissioning research into renewable energy, herd health and data collection techniques. It follows similar moves by Morrisons to develop farmer groups in beef, lamb, pork, poultry and milk.

"First Milk and the Ayrshire farmers have already identified key areas that are a drain on dairy business profitability and we have agreed to fund the work as part of our farm programme," said Morrisons head of agriculture David Evans.

The sustainability of British cheese has been a hot topic in the industry in the past year, with farmers calling for similar dedicated supply arrangements as those in place for milk.