MORRISONS has teamed up with firms including McDonald’s to officially launch the UK’s first School of Sustainable Food and Farming.

The school is aiming to encourage new sustainable farming methods to help British agriculture achieve its net zero goal.

Based at Harper Adams University in Newport, the school’s courses will be designed using the work on sustainable farming and food production by the University, and in unique collaboration with Bradford-based Morrisons, fast food outlet McDonald’s UK, and the National Farmers Union.

For the first time in the world the school will bring together all of the latest thinking and learning on farming using sustainable methods.

Virtual courses will cover a wide range of topics including carbon sequestration, the potential of green energy production on farms - including anaerobic digestion plants, and understanding the value of carbon. In addition, on-the-farm learning with university tutors will take place – to offer real-world practice.

The courses will be run by the UK’s leading experts in agronomy, veterinary practice and nutrition.

The school's courses will include; undergraduate courses to train new sustainable farmers; short courses and apprenticeships to upskill the current farming workforce; and research posts. The school will also act as a hub for sharing the latest thinking and learning on sustainable farming, and will be involved in policy engagement - to ensure the farming sector gets the support and advice it needs.

Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture at Morrisons, said: “We need to revolutionise our food production and what we’re doing today is unique.

“It’s the first time the NFU, restaurants, supermarkets and universities have come together to act with one voice for the greater good.

“We have supported the development of this school both for our own farmers - but also for the nation’s farmers.

“It will play an important part in helping all of Morrisons farmers to get to Net Zero Agri by 2030, but Morrisons also wanted to help create a legacy for all of UK farming.”

Morrisons has pledged to become the first supermarket to be completely supplied by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030 – five years ahead of the industry.

Morrisons is UK farming’s biggest customer and will work directly with its farmers to create affordable zero emission produce.

Morrisons’ agriculture target forms part of its plan to become ‘net zero’ for emissions by 2040, in line with the international Paris Agreement.