Tesco Recognizes Branston’s Efforts with Award
Branston – one of the UK’s largest potato buyers, packers, distributors and marketers – was recently presented by Tesco with the Community Award for its effort to increase sustainability, reports Love Business.
The distinction recognizes the company’s work with the Tesco Sustainable Farming Group scheme and encouraging its growers to grow “cover crops” over the winter in preparation for planting potatoes in spring. Off-season cover crops have a range of environmental and agronomic advantages, including weed suppression, increased soil fertility and structure, greater on-farm biodiversity and reduction of soil erosion.
Branston’s Managing Director, James Truscott explained that in order to motivate growers, the company gave them the opportunity to purchase up to 20 hectares worth of cover crop seed, subsidized by Tesco and Branston. Growers across the country through Cornwall to East Anglia and Scotland were involved in the scheme. According to the report, Branston intends to work with its growers to help them understand the carbon saving, using the Cool Farm Tool and plans to double the area of cover crops grown through the scheme this autumn.
Tesco has created the program as part of responsible sourcing strategy, which also includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 7% and improving water and biodiversity impacts from key agricultural regions.