As Partners, we are passionate about every step of the food supply chain - from field to fork - and we take pride in the long-term relationships we have with the farmers who rear and grow the food we eat. 

Animal welfare, farming practices, and their impact on our global climate, are of increasing concern and importance to the Partnership. Changes to agricultural policy post Brexit add to this complexity. However, we remain as committed as ever to leading in this sphere, supporting and encouraging  sustainable and ethical farming methods and farming with nature wherever possible. We believe our farming partnerships and more sustainable farming practices will be key to our future success.

Our Agriculture Plan


The Waitrose Agriculture plan does not stop at farming sustainably. Our ambition is to introduce regenerative farming techniques as widely as possible. We aim to adopt and encourage soil improvement and enhancement of the natural environment through restorative land management focused on topsoil regeneration, improving the water cycle, and also increasing carbon capture, biodiversity and resilience to climate change. At our farm on the Leckford estate, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach net zero ahead of our broader 2035 commitment.

Animal Welfare

We believe animal welfare and good business go hand in hand, because our customers rely on us to do the right thing. Applying high welfare standards throughout an animal’s life is vital to ensuring the quality of the meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and fish products that we sell have the very highest standards.


Waitrose is recognised as one of the top five companies in the world with respect to farm animal welfare standards, as confirmed for the sixth consecutive year by the Global Business Benchmark on farm animal welfare. We also participate in the Compassion in World Farming Awards scheme, through which we maintain our position as the leading retailer in Europe for farm animal welfare. 

View our animal welfare awards.

Food Systems and Climate Impact


The impact of climate change on food production, the changes to production methods in order to end farming’s role as a key driver of greenhouse gas emissions, and the need to develop protein diversification are among the challenges we face. The latter is especially difficult. As science tells us - with increasing urgency - we must reduce our dietary reliance on meat and embrace more plant based alternatives, and the developed world faces a dilemma. Currently there are no clear plans for how livestock farmers can adapt to these production changes with existing business models. Food producers must urgently tackle these obstacles to truly nature-friendly food systems. Our Waitrose Agricultural plan enables us to start facing a number of these challenges head-on and to help create a more sustainable food system.



Biodiversity is critical to maintaining the natural ecosystems that safeguard food security worldwide. Overapplication of pesticides and unsustainable land use, means plants, animals, and microorganisms that pollinate, clean our air, and fertilise our soil are being lost with devastating consequences, putting global food security at risk. At Waitrose, we want to ensure our food is produced in a way that preserves and even enhances key natural resources, and we are conscious that maintaining and increasing biodiversity is essential.  


The Waitrose Agriculture Plan sets out our commitment to farm with nature, enhance biodiversity, and regenerate the natural resources we rely on. We are already making strides within the Waitrose fresh produce category to protect biodiversity. We were the first major and for many years the only  UK retailer to insist all our conventional UK (non organic) fresh fruit and vegetables are grown to Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) Marque Standards, with a focus on nature-friendly farming and minimising impact on the environment. In 2021 we became the first major retailer to sign up to The UK Robust Potato Pledge - which will see us move away from the use of copper-based fungicides on our organic fresh potatoes in order to combat late blight Phytophthora. We have pledged to grow and sell only resistant or ‘robust’ organic fresh potatoes by 2026 provided that these varieties meet the required quality, thus removing the need to use potentially harmful copper fungicides.


In our dairy supply chains, all farmers are encouraged to devote at least 10% of their dairy farm to biodiversity and habitat management. We encourage planting mixed leys, including legumes such as red or white clover, which is nutritious for cows and also beneficial for bees. 


Our Waitrose egg farmers have used a seed mix to plant over 100 acres of wild flowers to provide much-needed food for bees and butterflies which, in turn, provide food for farmland birds. The summer flowering of these wild flowers will offer a rich nectar food source for up to four years.

View our policy on the use of pesticides.