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Sainsbury's Outlines Commitment to British Farming

06 January 2012

UK - In a first for a major retailer, Sainsbury's this week hosted a fringe event for delegates at the Oxford Farming Conference.

The event, which was attended by farmers from across Britain, discussed the work of the retailer’s pioneering farming Development Groups – now firmly established across beef, lamb, pork, eggs, chicken, milk, cheese, wheat and produce.

Director of Sainsbury's Brand, Judith Batchelar, said: "The Oxford Farming Conference is an important opportunity to debate the key challenges facing the food and farming industry and to reinforce how much further Sainsbury's is going than any other supermarkets to boost sustainability and create secure supply chains. With over 22 million customer transactions every week, 150,000 colleagues and over 2,000 suppliers, Sainsbury's is ideally placed to make a positive difference on the economy, environment and society. Through our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan we have made a long term commitment and investment to double the amount of British food we sell, which will help the food industry plan and grow food for the future with confidence.

"It's also fantastic to bring a selection of our Farming Development Group members to understand what the future issues and challenges facing the industry and to participate in discussions with the delegates about our £1 billion 20 by 20 Sustainability plan, many parts of which provide significant opportunities for the British farming industry.

"Beyond this Sainsbury's is going further than other supermarkets to support farmers in our Development Groups and dairy farmers alone have saved over £10 million in the last five years thanks to improvements in animal welfare and savings in energy bills. Since 2006 we've invested over £30 million in the Groups which includes funding for vet visits, environmental assessments, advice and new IT equipment and will continue to do so to support British farming." Ms Batchelar concluded.

"We have made major commitments to British farming and taken pioneering steps to improve animal welfare such as the indoor free farrowing trial at our Concept Farm in Yorkshire." said Sainsbury's Agriculture Manager Natalie Smith

"We're also looking forward to hearing from speakers about the key challenges and opportunities facing the global food industry so we can continue to support our farmers and ensure we work together for a long term sustainable supply chain."

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