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How Tesco is transforming UK agriculture with innovative low carbon fertilisers

In a pioneering move that places Tesco at the forefront of sustainable agriculture in the UK, the retail giant has successfully trialled low carbon fertilisers (LCFs), showcasing a remarkable commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation.

This initiative, spearheaded by Tesco's sustainable agriculture manager Peter Illman has not only achieved a significant reduction in emissions by up to 50% but has also brought to light the transformative power of soil boosters in modern farming.


This initiative is part of Tesco's commitment to fostering a sustainable and resilient food system. The trial, which was conducted in collaboration with five vegetable growers, is set to expand significantly, increasing the cultivated area from 1,300 hectares to 13,000 hectares.


Illman emphasises the urgent need for the industry to adopt such environmentally friendly fertiliser alternatives, especially given the rising costs and environmental impact of traditional ones. The trial's success is seen as a crucial step in accelerating the industry-wide adoption of LCFs.


One of the participating growers, Lincolnshire-based TH Clements, trialled different LCFs on various crops, including cabbages and broccoli, without any adverse effects on crop quality or yield. Indeed, they are being recognised as silent heralds of hope and as crucial tools in balancing economic and environmental challenges; promising not just survival but a thriving ecosystem.


Tom Mackintosh, Tesco's director of fresh produce and horticulture, is looking to a future of sustainable agriculture that is rich, diverse, and resilient. It's one in which British farmers, growers, and suppliers are co-authors in a narrative of innovation and sustainability.


Soil boosters are more than mere additives say experts; they are alchemists transforming ordinary soil into fertile grounds of possibilities. In Tesco's strategic blueprint, they are the silent protagonists, offering a long-term solution that intertwines immediate adaptability with enduring resilience.


As the world stands on the cusp of a future where climate change presents both threats and opportunities, Tesco's strategy is a prophecy of a green horizon, where agriculture is not only resilient but also a testament to human ingenuity and adaptability.


Tesco's efforts extend beyond fresh produce, with plans to trial LCFs in other sectors like livestock rearing and cereal production. This broader application aims to reduce agricultural emissions and support industry-wide collaboration in adopting sustainable practices.


This initiative by Tesco not only demonstrates the retailer's leadership in sustainable agriculture but also highlights the importance of coordinated efforts in the industry to embrace innovative solutions for a more sustainable future.

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