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Farmers will be able to enrol on educational modules in areas such as the use of efficient forage 

Morrisons has launched a collaboration with professional body The Institute for Agriculture & Horticulture to support its farmers on their journey to net zero.

Announced today at the Great Yorkshire Show, the tie-up will see the supermarket trial TIAH’s digital platform – part-funded by Defra – to help address the skills gaps in agriculture, Morrisons said.

TIAH, alongside the School of Sustainable Food & Farming at Harper Adams University, has developed four distinct modules offering farmers a step-by-step approach to learning key information, including how to reduce on-farm emissions.

Topics covered included calving best practice, common beef disease, measuring and improving growth and the use of efficient forage.

The partnership comes two years after Morrisons, McDonald’s and the NFU founded the School of Sustainable Food & Farming in 2022 to support farmers to produce food more sustainably.

It followed a report by Donald Curry of Food & Farming Futures, who has worked with Professor James Lowenberg-DeBoer and Professor Michael Lee from Harper Adams to examine how agriculture could be supported and co-ordinated to address the productivity gap in UK agriculture.

The school has already seen “great success” in welcoming more than 100 farmers to Morrisons stores, where events have encouraged networking, engagement and “helped provide the farmers with a deeper understanding of the journey their produce goes on from their farms to supermarket shelves”, the retailer said.

A further calendar of events is planned for the upcoming months.

The announcement of the partnership comes a week after Morrisons announced a new partnership between manufacturing arm Myton Food Group and Australian environmental tech company Sea Forest to introduce seaweed-based livestock feed into its beef supply chain.

The collaboration will see Sea Forest exclusively supply its SeaFeed methane-abating feed to Myton “to help fast-track the introduction of lower-carbon beef products such as mince, burgers, steaks and joints in Morrisons”.

“Progress towards net zero in agriculture requires constant innovation, new thinking and challenging the accepted practices,” said Sophie Throup, technical and sustainability director at Myton Food Group.

“We’re proud to be the first retailer to partner with TIAH to support our livestock farmers in reducing their environmental impact,” she added. “We are looking forward to testing and trialling new practices with 20 of our farmers to help us develop the next phase of our march towards net zero by 2030. Better information leads to better practices and this new partnership will help deliver that.”

Curry added the partnership was “groundbreaking and a springboard for our nation’s farmers”. He said: “It is vital our farmers have access to information that supports sustainable food production and I applaud Morrisons for taking this step forward.”