McCain Foods and NatWest have come together to reduce financial barriers for potato farmers who are transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices.
McCain says that smart and sustainable farming is a key pillar of its commitment to make planet friendly food, anchored on its commitment to implement regenerative agriculture across 100 per cent of its global potato acreage by 2030.
The transition to more sustainable farming practices often requires up-front investments in new equipment and practices from farmers, which can create a barrier to uptake. Through its asset finance arm Lombard, NatWest will be offering a first-of-its-kind initiative in the UK, which will see the bank offer additional financial support to McCain potato farmers. In addition, McCain has also committed to offering a contribution towards the interest payable for assets that support regenerative agriculture practices.
“Given the increasingly unpredictable climate, the shift towards regenerative agriculture practices is vital to futureproof the farming industry, and we want to support McCain potato farmers who are making the transition towards more sustainable operations. We know that switching to regenerative agriculture can come with financial implications, and this new partnership will be a part of the effort to alleviate those barriers,” said James Young, VP of Agriculture at McCain GB&I. “We are working with our growers, customers and key stakeholders to ensure the long-term viability of potato growing in the UK.”
Ian Burrow, Head of Agriculture, NatWest commented, “NatWest and Lombard are thrilled to be working with McCain to help their farmers invest in sustainable farming practices. Agriculture is a sector of paramount importance to the UK economy, and one which is at a turning point, facing higher costs, inflation and the daunting challenge of net zero.
“This partnership further enhances the aims and ambitions of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) taskforce, which NatWest is proud to be a part of, and we will continue to stand by farmers and work closely with influential partners, like McCain, to help drive change across the industry.”
As part of its wider regenerative agriculture initiatives, McCain joined the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Agribusiness Task Force alongside a number of businesses and NGOs to further accelerate the scaling of greener practices in the farming industry worldwide, which have been hampered by high costs. Other initiatives include grants for cover crop seed and fully funding soil health assessments, as well as offering free pollinator seed this spring.