Safeguarding the Future of Food and Farming
The Waitrose Farm Risk Assessment was developed in 2011, following the Future of Food and Farming Report. This recognised the threat of increasing pressures on the global food system. Through the Agronomy Group, the assessment is a collaboration of a diverse range of suppliers, growers of fresh produce and a range of research providers. Our aim was to understand the fundamental challenges our growers face and how to tackle key issues of food safety, Sustainability and quality.
The aim is that each grower has a comprehensive environmental management plan in place drawing on research covering five pillars - soil, water, biodiversity, inputs and waste. As at January 2016, 92% of participants in the assessment had comprehensive environmental management plans in place. We are pleased in particular to have made considerable progress in the areas of soil preservation and biodiversity plans and water optimisation. Going forward we will place greater emphasis on waste and energy management to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. For further detail please see our dedicated Waitrose Farm Assessment site.
Our Livestock Steering Group this year developed and began trialling a similar model for meat, dairy and eggs – the Responsible Efficient Production Index. 2016 will see us bringing more farms into the trial and developing our methodology further.