This is how Morrisons' customers have raised £20 million to support farms and the countryside

Morrisons' customers have raised £20 million to support farmers by choosing to pay a little more for products in Morrisons For Farmers range.

Morrisons' customers have raised £20 million to support farms and the countryside

The funds have been ploughed back into a range of farm schemes to improve biodiversity and further improve animal welfare, in a period when British farmers have faced financial uncertainty due to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

A spokesman said: "In October 2015, Morrisons was the first British retailer to launch a dairy product where part of the purchase price went directly back to farmers.

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"Milk For Farmers was the original product - at 10p-a-litre more than Morrisons own label standard milk - with the full difference passed on to its dairy farmers. The range now includes Cheese For Farmers, Cream For Farmers and Eggs For Farmers which similarly give customers the opportunity to pay a little more to support farmers directly."

"Morrisons For Farmers ‘Chuckle Eggs’, costing an extra 1p per egg more, has enabled farmers to invest money in planting woodland and creating insect-friendly wildflower habitats for their free-range chickens to roam around in. To date 169 acres have been planted. This month a similar insect habitat scheme is being rolled out across all Morrisons milk farms."

Money from the Milk for Farmers range has enabled more investment in animal husbandry from the 140 dairy farmers in partnership with Morrisons.

Farmers directly selling into the Morrisons Milk For Farmers range grazed their cows for an average of 224 days last year – over a hundred more days than are required.

Dairy farmers have also put the additional money towards new rotating brushes, mattresses and scratch pads for cows, along with foot baths to reduce lameness.

Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture at Morrisons, said: “Our farmers continue to face some uncertainty due to the impact of Brexit and the pandemic.

"So we are pleased to have passed on £20 million from our For Farmers range to help fund initiatives which may otherwise have suffered from under-investment. It’s great to see many customers want to pay more to support British farmers - and want to buy dairy products from cows that have been let out to graze and eggs from free range hens who can roam in enriched woodland and grassland areas.”

Morrisons buys directly from 3,000 farmers and growers.