Morrisons pilot to cover cost of growing potatoes and carrots

Supermarket chain Morrisons has launched a new pilot scheme that will underwrite 100% of the on-farm costs for growing potatoes and carrots.

Three farms growing potatoes and one carrot grower will be involved in the initial trial, with the produce grown due to be available in Morrisons stores later this year.

About £2m in funding has been made available by the retailer for the project to cover a number of inputs, such as fertiliser and rent.

See also: What is GB Potatoes and why should farmers join?

The scheme is designed to reduce the financial risk on suppliers and there are plans to roll it out further in 2024 if the pilot is successful.

Gareth Cosford, senior buying manager for root vegetables at Morrisons, said the supermarket chain understands the impact that higher costs are continuing to have on farmers.

“Our trial scheme allows us to take all the risk associated with growing the crop away from our farmers,” added Mr Cosford.

Naish Farms is one of the potato growers involved in the pilot.

Andrew Naish, director at Naish Farms, said: “Morrisons already buy our whole crop of potatoes, taking the top-quality and also misshapen or oversized ones and making them available to customers as part of their naturally wonky range.

“In farming there are ups and downs throughout the season. For us, we are seeing greater weather challenges that may impact our crops.

“By being part of this new Morrisons trial, they’re underwriting our growing costs to cushion us from the associated risks and provide supply security, so that we can focus on growing the very best potatoes for their customers.”