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  • hammaad saghir

Tesco and NatWest Unveil Innovative Partnership Providing Discounted Green Finance Options for 1,500 Farmers

In an exciting development aimed at supporting farmers in adopting sustainable practices and embracing clean technologies, Tesco and NatWest have joined forces to introduce a groundbreaking partnership. This initiative will extend preferential finance packages to 1,500 farmers supplying Tesco, facilitating their transition towards more environmentally friendly farming methods.

Under this collaborative effort, NatWest's subsidiary Lombard will provide tailored funding solutions and guidance to farmers, empowering them to decarbonize their operations effectively. The partnership will offer discounted rates on various clean technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, biomass boilers, LED lighting, battery storage, and combined heat and power systems.

One of the key highlights of this voluntary program is the access it grants to Tesco's Sustainable Farming Groups for beef, lamb, and dairy. Participating farmers will benefit from Tesco's preferred clean tech suppliers, potentially receiving volume discounts on renewable energy assets. This initiative is particularly timely, considering that more than half of Tesco's farmers desire to reduce their environmental footprint and energy costs.

"We have long-term, trusted relationships with our farmers and suppliers and are proud supporters of British agriculture," said Ashwin Prasad, chief commercial officer at Tesco Group. "We know a lot of our farmers are looking at ways to reduce costs on farms and move to renewable sources of energy at the same time, which is why we're delighted to be partnering with NatWest in offering our green finance initiative.

"The food industry has a clear role to play in ensuring we maintain food security while also helping to protect the environment, and we hope innovative programmes like this will play a crucial part in achieving this. The initiative will provide our farmers with the confidence to invest in sustainable farming methods and infrastructure while also helping us meet our target of reaching net zero across our supply chain by 2050."

This announcement aligns with NatWest's ongoing dedication to the UK agricultural sector, as evidenced by its substantial investment package for farmers.

"At NatWest, we recognise the multiple challenges faced today by farmers, including the cost of transitioning to lower emissions practices," said Peter Huish, head of consumer industries at NatWest Group. "This is why we are excited to be launching Lombard's partnership with Tesco and its farmers.

"This initiative further contributes to the UK's climate goals and food security, as well as to NatWest's pledge to provide £100bn of climate and sustainable funding and financing by the end of 2025. We strongly believe that to deliver a more sustainable future, partnering with leading UK consumer companies such as Tesco and their supply chains will be critical."

In parallel news, the Nature-Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) unveiled its manifesto ahead of the upcoming general election. The manifesto outlines a comprehensive plan to promote sustainable food production and nature conservation in the UK. It encompasses initiatives aimed at supporting farmers, enhancing supply chain transparency, and promoting healthier diets.

The NFFN's seven-point plan advocates for a robust agriculture budget, fair trade practices, and stringent standards for imports to safeguard UK farmers' interests. Additionally, it calls for measures to incentivize nature-friendly farming practices and strengthen regulatory frameworks to protect the environment.

"The next UK parliament will preside over a critical time for farming," said NFFN CEO Martin Lines. The stakes at this general election are very high, and we need politicians to step up and start delivering for food, farming, and nature. Our manifesto contains ambitions and ideas that will help political parties address many of our biggest societal challenges while also delivering a better farming future.

"We need a viable, long-term vision that enables farm businesses to remain profitable and produce high-quality, healthy food in ways that also meet our country's goals for climate mitigation and nature's recovery. We need a fairer market for both farmers and consumers and support for farmers to play their part in delivering improvements to our wider landscapes, such as better water quality.

"MPs urgently need to increase the scale of their ambitions for a better future. Our seven key asks to provide one way that they can deliver on this."

Overall, these developments underscore a growing momentum towards sustainability in agriculture, with collaborative efforts between industry players and advocacy groups paving the way for a more environmentally conscious future.


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