The British supermarket, Waitrose, has recently announced that by 2035 all its UK-produced meat, milk, eggs and fruit and vegetables will come from farms that use regenerative practices.

The Sustainable Food Trust applauds this bold step by Waitrose. The supermarket’s Executive Director, James Bailey, highlighted the decision as being essential for safeguarding the health of people, nature and our soils, as well as in responding to climate change.

Speaking to the ‘Farming Today’ programme on Thursday 9th May, he explained, “What we’re not going to be doing is telling farmers how to farm. Context is exceptionally important; there will be different systems, people in different positions. What we’re doing is setting the ambition and will support everyone on whatever journey [towards regenerative farming] that they’re on.” 

Waitrose has highlighted measurement as being key to achieving their 2035 commitment. They need to be sure that the regenerative practices that they are supporting farmers to implement are resulting in the real-world changes we need to see in our food and farming systems. 

Commenting on the news, Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, said, ‘‘We salute the leadership that James Bailey and his team at Waitrose are showing in launching the new transition initiative to regenerative farming systems. It is providing exactly what the thousands of farmers who are wondering about how to address the climate, nature and health crises are needing – a clear direction forward with support during the transition period, including, potentially, finance and measurement.

“The Sustainable Food Trust have, for the last eight years, been working on the development of a harmonised framework for understanding and measuring farm sustainability via the Global Farm Metric. We believe that the commitment to measure, working with LEAF and others towards a harmonised framework which will inform both the farmers and Waitrose customers about the impact of regenerative farming models, is a brilliant step forward.

“We look forward to working with Waitrose, LEAF and other food retailers and certifiers to harmonise the way in which we measure the impact of different farming and food systems.”

Fabia Bromovsky, Director of the Global Farm Metric, added “We commend the ambition shown by Waitrose in making this commitment. Waitrose has identified practical and robust measurement as underpinning their ability to achieve their 2035 goal, a need that is addressed by the Global Farm Metric – a holistic framework to understand, measure and monitor the outcomes achieved from emerging regenerative farming systems.

“By enabling a common baseline for sustainability, the Global Farm Metric empowers farmers to communicate farm-level outcomes across the food and farming sector. This supports organisations like Waitrose in more informed and transparent decision making, risk management and the avoidance of unintended consequences.” 


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