Sainsbury’s pledges £1.7m sustainability bonus for UK dairy farmers

Sainsbury’s has committed to a £1.7m sustainability bonus for UK dairy farmers as part of a wider package of support for the struggling industry.

The UK’s second-largest supermarket has pledged to invest an additional £6m in its network of dairy farmers, who will be paid an extra 1p per litre from next month, adding to the £66m of financial support which has been given across the last year.

The new support package will also give farmers the opportunity to earn up to 1p per litre in sustainable activity bonuses, which have been designed to help future-proof Sainsbury’s dairy supply chain and help the supermarket achieve its Plan for Better targets.

The move comes in the wake of a previous sustainability investment of £2.6m, meaning the average farm could receive an additional £27,000 extra per year from these bonuses alone.

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Dairy farmers will be encouraged to focus on carbon reduction via activities such as using sustainably sourced feed and using the correct amount of fertiliser, in the right way.

Recent reports have shown that almost 5% of dairy farmers left the industry last year and one in 10 believe they will have left the sector by 2025. The additional support from Sainsbury’s aims to “give farmers the confidence and desire to invest in these long-term changes so they can continue production for years to come”.

With new compliance legislation expected to be introduced for dairy farmers in the near future, many will need to make expensive updates to their farms, such as upgrading and improving feed stores and increasing the size of slurry storage.

“The dairy farming industry is becoming increasingly challenging and we recognise the responsibility we have as a retailer to support farmers and the need for continuous investment in this sector,” said  Sainsbury’s director of agriculture, aquaculture and horticulture, Gavin Hodgson.

“We are proud of our continued investment into the Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group and are confident our £6m annual investment will help farmers to plan for a long-term and sustainable future. In turn, we hope this will also provide surety of supply for our customers as we continue to champion British milk now and for the future.”

Food and farmingNewsRetail

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