Sainsbury's wants to back suppliers' R&D efforts

Sainsbury's is pledging £1 million to its UK growers and farmers in the form of research and development grants.

The funds are open to the retailer’s 2,000 grower and farmer suppliers across the UK and will be made available for solutions to improve practices and processes across farming.

Applications close on 18 October and winning projects will be announced at Sainsbury’s annual farming conference on 6 December. These funds come on top of the £1.2m handed out to 14 projects last year in a similar initiative.

The awarded grants will be made against three priorities: improvement in animal, fish or plant health, nutrition and welfare with a tangible impact on final product quality; development of agricultural solutions that deliver sustainable intensification while improving quality and securing resilient supply chains; development of new products or processes that improve safety, quality, taste or freshness.

Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury's brand, said: 'Following the initial success of the R&D grants we awarded last year, I look forward to seeing what innovative projects come through the applications. We are proud to work closely with our suppliers, producers and growers as we move towards our stretching 20x20 commitments including doubling sales of British food as part of our 20x20 Sustainability Plan. Our customers want to buy high-quality, fresh British food and by finding ways of getting this to them in a more efficient way brings benefits to the whole supply chain.”