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SAC team up with M&S
SAC consultants and researchers will provide advice and insight on the
latest developments in livestock production and breeding. They will help progress the efforts M&S is already
making through its eco and ethical plan, Plan A, to reduce its carbon footprint and cut greenhouse gas emissions
from the livestock in the company’s food supply chain.
SAC’s strategic consultancy will work across five livestock sectors, beef, sheep, dairy, poultry and pigs. Experts will provide M&S teams with up to date information and analysis to inform the company’s forward planning. It will include topics such as genetics, nutrition, plant or animal health and animal welfare. Workshops and other events will take the messages to farmers and others in the M&S food supply chain.
Both parties are especially excited about the work linked to climate change. SAC has particular expertise in assessing and addressing greenhouse gas emissions from farming. M&S and SAC will also host an event to bring together industry experts, farmers and supply chain companies to exchange best practice ideas and brainstorm ideas for the future.
M&S Head of Food Technology, Paul Willgoss comments.
“Government targets are asking the agriculture industry to cut emissions by up to six per cent by 2020, we will work with our supply base to identify areas where we can work with SAC to take that reduction requirement further. There’s a desire and drive from the farming industry to cut emissions. What isn’t commonplace at the moment is the knowledge and technology to achieve this while producing more food and protecting our environment. This is where we believe we can make a difference.”
Collaborative research with SAC will look at the interaction between different breeds and strains of animals and their methane production. They will assess how different animal feed diets can increase efficiency and reduce carbon production. Changing management systems can improve animal welfare and decrease carbon production and, in addition, by harnessing renewable energy with new technology farms can generate power and additional income.
Project Coordinator, Iain Riddell, Group Manager of SAC Select Services, believes the new relationship has much to offer producers and consumers.
“SAC are delighted to join forces with Marks & Spencer in this new, strategic partnership. Key members of our staff will be making their expertise available to those farmers and others supplying the company. We know a lot can be achieved by working together.”