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Morrisons partners with Downforce Technologies to meet Net Zero target

Jun-28-2023

Morrisons is utilising innovative data fusion technology to model soil health and calculate net emissions across five pilot farms 

28th June, 2023 - Morrisons has today announced it has been working with Downforce Technologies, a leader in science-led, data-driven land management solutions, to provide intelligence across its five “Blueprint Farms” in the UK. Through Downforce Technologies’ platform, Morrisons can assess the soil carbon and biodiversity trends across the ecologically-diverse sites, arming the company with insights to optimise sustainable farming practices. 

As British agriculture’s single biggest direct customer, Morrisons set the ambition to be the first UK supermarket to be directly supplied by Net Zero carbon British farms by 2030.

For businesses like Morrisons, working with a huge number of farms and suppliers across their supply chain, achieving Net Zero means increasing the level of carbon stored in soil (soil organic carbon) at scale. To help achieve this, Morrisons has worked with Downforce Technologies to assess the carbon and biodiversity trends across five “Blueprint Farms”. This will equip the supermarket chain with the insights needed to optimise sustainable farming practices across the sites, as well as to measure their impact on soil health and carbon sequestration.

“Reaching Net Zero is an ambitious goal and one we need to deliver by working to improve soils, biodiversity and landscapes. By working alongside our farmers and experts like Downforce Technologies, we can help support the farmers supplying us on this important journey,” says Sophie Throup, Technical and Sustainability Director at Morrisons. “One of our mantras for this project is ‘seeing is believing’ and Downforce Technologies will be crucial here by helping us measure carbon sinks and prove the success of our Blueprint Farms.”

Measuring and monitoring soil health has historically been a real challenge, with traditional methods such as soil sampling proving expensive, laborious and often inaccurate on a field-to-field level. Downforce Technologies solves this by using data fusion and machine learning to analyse historical variability in soil carbon and biodiversity. Using multiple sources of publicly-available data from field surveys and earth observations, Downforce Technologies can accurately quantify changes in soil carbon every 10 days, over the past six years at 10m resolution and biodiversity and habitat change over several decades.

“Morrisons is truly leading the way for more sustainable supermarkets in the UK,” says Josephine Wapakabulo, CEO of Downforce Technologies. “To achieve its Net Zero ambition, Morrisons needs insight over the past, present and future of soil carbon and biodiversity of its farms, and Downforce Technologies delivers this in a fast and scalable way. The platform models how close each farm is to achieving Net Zero and provides Morrisons and its partners with the data needed to instigate and maintain sustainable approaches to land management.”

With Downforce Technologies, Morrisons has a high-resolution view of the carbon profile of each site, in Northamptonshire, Wales, Cumbria, Scotland and Yorkshire. Since each farm is unique in terms of land use (including arable land and livestock), local weather patterns and soil types, these insights will be pivotal to identifying and optimising sustainable farming practices that work for each site. This data can inform and monitor strategies like changing tilling practices, adopting crop rotations, or promoting agroforestry.

Ends

About Downforce

Downforce Technologies is a pioneering leader in science-led, data-driven land management solutions focused on optimising soil health, soil organic carbon levels, and biodiversity. With over 30% of the world's soil already degraded, urgent action is needed to address this pressing global challenge.

Soil erosion not only threatens global food security but also exacerbates climate change by releasing carbon into the atmosphere. At Downforce Technologies, our mission is to combat soil degradation head-on, ensuring a resilient and thriving planet for future generations. We revolutionise land management with our science-led, data-driven platform, empowering farmers, landowners, and supply chains to make informed decisions that preserve and restore soil health on a global scale.

About Morrisons

Headquartered in Bradford since 1899, Morrisons is a British food retailer with around 106,000 colleagues in 499 Morrisons supermarkets and around 1,100 convenience stores, including 700 Morrisons Dailys.

We are British farming’s single biggest direct customer and all Morrisons branded fresh meat and everything on our butchers’ counters is 100% British. Foodmakers and shopkeepers are at the heart of everything we do. With over 6,500 trained butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheesemongers, florists and other skilled in-store specialists who make good things happen every day.

We have 19 of our own sites making meat, fruit & veg, fish, bakery and fresh food products and we are unique in that we prepare and make more than half of the fresh food sold in our stores.

We also offer popular services including cafés, pharmacies, dry cleaners and over 340 petrol stations with further services being added all the time.

Media contacts:

Downforce Technologies

Jennifer Atkinson, Babel PR 

+44 (0)7815 423 559

downforce@babelpr.com 

Morrisons

Eleanor Webster-Egglestone

pressoffice@morrisonsplc.co.uk



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