Farming & agriculture

Farming & agriculture

We work with thousands of farmers and suppliers around the world to improve food systems.

The Big Picture

1/3

of the soil used for farming globally is degrading

30%

of Tesco’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture

10

Tesco Sustainable Farming Groups drive industry collaboration

 

 

2. Blue Callout Farmer Smiling OPTIMISED

Resilient suppliers

Our business can only be sustainable if our suppliers are. We see them as partners and experts to learn from. Together, we fund innovations, share best practice and help drive greater sustainability and resilience across the food industry.

 

 

Supporting farmers

Sustainable Farming Groups

We’ve set up ten Sustainable Farming Groups, including for milk, cheese, poultry and eggs, beef, and pork.

Led by our suppliers, farmers and Tesco colleagues, these groups drive improvements in efficiency, environmental performance (including carbon footprinting) and farm animal welfare, as well as food quality, consistency and taste.

 

Fair for Farmers Guarantee

All our milk is 100% British.

We source high-quality milk from British dairy farmers who are guaranteed a fair price for every pint.

Since the launch of our Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group in 2007, we’ve worked with over 600 dairy farmers to pay guaranteed prices and ensure they have stable incomes, and resources for new equipment.

Tesco Supplier Network

Our suppliers use this online community to discuss ideas and identify common challenges.

We use it to connect with tens of thousands of suppliers and producers, and share best practice around sustainability and innovation.

 

 

Animal welfare

Improving animal welfare

Customers expect great products to be accompanied by high welfare standards. We work with suppliers, growers, farmers and fishermen, as well as researchers, vets and welfare NGOs to identify how to assure high animal welfare standards. We continuously review our frameworks, processes and guidance for animal welfare.

Read our Animal Welfare policy

 

 

 

 

Sustainable agriculture

Supplier sustainability

We expect all our largest suppliers to have sustainable agriculture strategies to address their most material farm-level impacts and risks. We work with them to share best practice and build farm-level improvement and management plans.

Climate

Agriculture accounts for 30% of Tesco’s greenhouse gas emissions. We’re aiming for a 15% reduction in this figure by 2030 and have set science-based targets for our supply chains that are aligned with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal.

Our strategy is to identify emissions hotspots in our supply chains and then make changes that will most effectively reduce a farm’s emissions. Examples include optimising the way nitrogen fertiliser is used, improving animal health, energy efficiency and building organic matter in soil.

Learn more about our climate change plan 

Soil health

Healthy soil is essential for farming and food production. When topsoil is eroded, agricultural land becomes less fertile and productive. Although some soil erosion is natural, unsustainable farming practices can rapidly accelerate it.

One way to protect soil structure and reduce soil erosion is through cover cropping, where plants are grown to protect or improve the soil.

They can form part of crop rotation, especially for root vegetables. We work with Branston, our biggest potato supplier, on a cover crop scheme for potato growers, incentivising them with subsidised cover crop seed mixes.

Fresh water

Clean water is vital for personal health, wildlife, nature and agriculture.

It’s fundamental to bringing quality food to our shelves, so we have taken a range of measures to protect this vital resource. For example, we have set local reduction targets for water-stressed areas in the UK and are aiming for zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2025.

We also work with suppliers, NGOs and local governments on water sustainability projects. Examples include the Doñana Sustainable Berry Project in Spain, which provides training and new irrigation systems, the WWF’s leather supply chain programme in India and Greenpeace’s DETOX campaign, which aims to eliminate hazardous chemicals in clothing and textile production.

Nature

With agriculture one of the leading drivers of biodiversity loss, Tesco is committed to protecting nature in supply chains, but we can’t do it alone.

Tesco is working to drive industry-level change by supporting on-farm tools like the Sustainable Food Trust’s Global Farm Metric and collaborating with initiatives like the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures and Science-Based Targets for Nature.

These initiatives will help us accurately report and account for nature loss in our supply chains.

Read our Chemical Management report 

Tesco’s future ambitions

By 2025

100% cage-free eggs

By 2025

All UK growers to be LEAF Marque Standard certified by the end of 2022, with global produce supply base LEAF certified by 2025

By 2030

15% reduction in agricultural emissions