SUPERMARKET GIANT Waitrose is to build on its existing relationship with Lancaster University in an effort to strengthen relations with its growers.

The Waitrose Centre for Sustainable Agriculture opens on Thurs (Jan 27) and will be developed to provide a specialist learning centre for sustainable agricultural practices.

The supermarket has initially committed to the venture with the University for three years, but it hopes to build on the success to create a long-term partnership.

“Research is by its nature ongoing and we are certainly committed to sustainable agriculture for the long-term,” said Alan Wlison Waitrose‘s agronomy technical manager.

“We have a good relationship with our growers and we wanted to find a way of getting specific research undertaken that we could communicate back to them in a relevant and timely fashion in order to maintain that relationship,” he added.

The centre for sustainable agriculture will be headed by Bill Davies, himself a co-director of the Lancaster Environment Centre; attending the opening he was enthusiastic about the future of the centre.

“This is a really exciting development for the university. The Waitrose Centre will take forward the need to refine food production in harmony with the environment,” said Prof Davies.