Tesco weighs in with cash program for farmers who wish to go green

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Dairy Beef Lamb Cheese

The UK’s largest supermarket chain will offer cash incentives to farmers who are willing to decarbonize their operations.

The retailer is partnering with NatWest to launch a discounted climate and sustainable finance scheme for its 1,500 farmers, including the 600+ dairies who are the largest group of dairy farmers to work directly with a single retailer in the UK.

The voluntary program, which was developed with input from farmers, will enable producers to ‘switch to sustainable farming sources’ such as installing solar panels and wind turbines or fossil-free heating and cooling systems such as heat pumps.

Producers taking part in the program would also gain access to Tesco preferred suppliers with potential volume discounts offered on renewable energy assets. Assets included through the new partnership cover solar panels, wind turbines, biomass boilers, LED lighting, battery storage and combined heat and power systems.

“Research shows that more than 50% of Tesco farmers want to make changes, but need help accessing finance to support them to make the investment,” the retailer said in a statement. “Moving to more sustainable farming practices often requires up-front investments in equipment which can create an obstacle.”

Ashwin Prasad, Tesco Group chief commercial officer, said: “We know a lot of our farmers are looking at ways to reduce costs on farm and move to renewable sources of energy at the same time, which is why we’re delighted to be partnering with NatWest in offering our green finance initiative.

“The food industry has a clear role to play in ensuring we maintain food security while also helping to protect the environment, and we hope innovative programmes like this will play a crucial part in achieving this.

“The initiative will provide our farmers with the confidence to invest in sustainable farming methods and infrastructure, while also helping us meet our target of reaching net zero across our supply chain by 2050.”

Dave Jones, chairman of Tesco’s Sustainable Dairy Group, added that access to finance is farmers’ single biggest barrier when trying to install green technology. “As TSDG Chairman, it’s great to see so many fellow dairy farmers considering more sustainable production methods like installing renewable energy technology on farm. However, accessing financial support for significant projects like this remains a barrier for many farmers.

“That’s why it’s great to see Tesco and NatWest joining forces to offer financial assistance that could help us install the new technology we need, and reduce farm emissions in the process.”

Related topics Sustainability

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