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15 JUNE 2021
Wheatsheaf Group, the international investor in food and agriculture businesses, has partnered with collaborators including M&S Food, Sainsbury’s, Arla Foods and Nando’s to create a new centre of excellence for nature-friendly farming through the Soil Association.
The Soil Association Exchange (SAX) initiative aims to create an industry-wide set of standards and tools to enable farmers to make positive environmental and social changes on their farms.
Katrin Burt, Executive Director, Wheatsheaf Group, said: “Supporting the SAX strengthens Wheatsheaf’s approach of partnering with like-minded people to help us meet our aim of developing lasting solutions for a better food system: one which improves human health, our environment and that enables producers to thrive.”
SAX will involve a mixture of both online and offline learning, including on-farm work and develop and measure sustainable farming techniques and share best practice.
Examples of the work it will undertake include working with agri-food companies to see how their suppliers are contributing to net zero ambitions and the UK’s climate change targets; and working with farmers to help them understand the natural capital potential of their farm, maximise that natural capital and be financially rewarded.
“Our hope is that all farmers are thus inspired to move along a spectrum from degenerative to regenerative,” said Director Joseph Gridley.
“What’s unique about the Soil Association Exchange is that already a consortium of major food businesses who don’t normally work together are rising above commercial interests to join us, working collaboratively to effect positive change.
“SAX will be an exchange centre for innovative practice and excellence and by capturing and disseminating the outcomes achieved from innovation, we will be well positioned to help scale and accelerate the changes necessary.”
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