Waitrose supports farmers in regenerative practices - Fruit & Vine

Waitrose supports British farmers in shift to regenerative practices

The supermarket plans to help over 2,000 of its supplier farms to adopt regenerative farming practices, with practical and financial support.

Waitrose Leckford Estate James Bailey, Charlotte Di Cello, Andrew Hoad at Leckford, Prof Carol Wagstaffe
James Bailey, Charlotte Di Cello, Andrew Hoad at Leckford, Prof Carol WagstaffeImage. Credit: Philip Panting

Waitrose has unveiled plans to help over 2,000 of its supplier farms in the UK.

Through the provision of practical and financial support, they hope to adopt regenerative farming practices.

Since 2020, the supermarket chain has been trialling regenerative agriculture approaches on its Leckford Estate farm.

Waitrose’s executive director James Bailey said: “We have a duty to help our farmers make the move towards more nature-friendly growing.

“We’re committed to playing our part in the revolution that our country’s food system requires.

“We want Waitrose customers to know that when they shop with us, they are voting with their purses and wallets for a food system that restores and works in harmony with the natural world, and that supports a financially sustainable future for British farmers.“


The company is now said to be ramping up efforts to share learnings from this work.

This will be with British suppliers of fruit and vegetables, as well as meat, milk and eggs.

Farmers will be supported to adopt practices that:

  • improve soil health
  • improve soil biodiversity

Reducing emissions and pollution will coincide with this, and will include:

  • reducing tilling
  • planting cover crops
  • shifting to alternative fertilisers.

Forms of support

Waitrose says the company is drawing up plans to help farmers access preferential finance rates for adopting these practices.

It is also guaranteeing a route to market for small businesses. Practical support will also be provided.

Leckford farm will serve as a permanent ‘centre of excellence’ hosting:

  • trials
  • workshops and visits
  • educational events

Online resources are also said to be provided.

Waitrose store shop front cars
Waitrose shop front Image Credit: Unspalsh

Waitrose will also gather a working group of farmers to improve their understanding of current practices.

This will be across different supply chains to learn how they can be made more ‘nature-friendly’.

By 2026

Waitrose will assess the state of nature on all of its own-brand farms in the UK.

The company will help these farmers to create land management and implement improvement plans.

Additionally, it will seek to ensure all of its fresh produce growers, globally, are certified under the Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) mark.

Eight UK-based farms will work with Waitrose and LEAF in total. They will identify best practices for improving outcomes across soil, carbon, biodiversity and water.

Aldi UK and Tesco have already achieved full certification for British produce.

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