Waitrose beefs up cattle production at the Leckford Estate
Waitrose has unveiled plans for a new beef production facility at the Leckford Estate to enable it to deliver more red meat straight from its own farm.
The facility will replace an existing dairy unit which accounts for just 3% of Waitrose’s total milk production
The supermarket said the move will free up land to help it produce more flour and oil for customers and create opportunities to trial a range of regenerative agriculture practices.
Andrew Hoad, the head of the Leckford Estate, said: “Regenerative agriculture will be vital in our planet’s response to climate change and mixed arable and livestock farming is the key to unlocking the door.”
“Retaining cattle on the farm means providing a rich source of organic matter, which will improve soil quality and contribute to multiple benefits including greater biodiversity, improved water efficiency and increased biosequestration. Not only will this be good for the environment, it will be good for our customers too as we can ensure we continue to grow high quality crops and produce whilst using nature balanced solutions to encourage wildlife and benefit nature.”
Waitrose has farmed on the Leckford Estate for over 90 years. Crops grown, picked and packed from the farm include mushrooms, apples, pears, cider, sparkling wine, apple juice and flour.
James Bailey, executive director at Waitrose, said: “We are the only supermarket to own our own farm and that gives us a unique opportunity to lead by example. Leckford is not only an important producer of our food, it is a test bed for best practice and farming innovation. Over the coming years, we will take those learnings to tweak our approach and share them with all our suppliers to ensure best practice across our whole supply chain.”
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