Ocado and Soil Association demo sustainable farming practices

Ocado and the Soil Association are working together to demonstrate and teach sustainable agricultural practices at five different UK farms.

Each of the farms involved in the new project will focusing on a different area – ranging from livestock such as dairy cows, beef and sheep, to produce such as orchard fruit and potatoes.

They will also host training sessions for other farmers that will focus on offering technical expertise and help on a range of topics to improve sustainable farming.

The sessions will include agroforestry practices that combine trees and livestock to offer protection from extreme weather, the restoration of hedgerows, the reduction of pesticides and how to use diverse crop rotations in order to boost soil health.

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The need for change and a move to more climate-friendly farming has been highlighted by recent research from the Green Finance Institute which found that deterioration of the natural environment could lead to an estimated 12% loss to UK GDP.

The report, published in April, said this was larger than the impact on GDP from the global financial crisis or Covid-19.

Three farms have already been selected to take part in the Ocado Retail and Soil Association programme, including Godminster Organic Farm in Bruton, Somerset.

Ocado Retail’s chief executive Hannah Gibson said: “Supporting local farmers and promoting homegrown produce is something we care deeply about at Ocado. Our new partnership with the Soil Association reinforces our commitment and, by working with farmers who are pioneering agroecological farming practices, we’re increasing the quality, freshness and sustainability of the food we’re able to offer our customers.”

Ocado and the Soil Association already work together on their Farm to Fork Ambassadors programme which helps to highlight those leading the way in the production of healthy and sustainable food and will expand their work here too.

The Soil Association and other organisations blasted the government last June for leaving out several high-profile industry leaders from its Farm to Fork summit, which aimed to create a ‘more sustainable, nature positive, affordable food system’ for the UK.

Climate crisisFood and farmingNature and the environmentNewsSupply Chain

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