Reading Time: 2 minutes Is it possible to reach net zero without reducing meat production? Credit: Morrisons
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Morrisons says it will be the first supermarket giant to be completely supplied by carbon-neutral farms by 2030. But is it possible without reducing meat production?

The UK retailer says it plans to work with suppliers of meat, fruit, and vegetables to create a net-zero model.

Morrisons’ carbon-neutral pledge

According to SkyNews, Morrisons said: “The farm models will look at reducing carbon via rearing different animal breeds, low food-mile feedstuffs, renewable energy, and low emission housing, and cutting down fuel and fertilizer use.

“They will also look to offset carbon emissions via planting grassland and clover, restoring peatland, improving soil health, planting trees, and, seeding hedgerows.”

It says its eggs will most likely become the first product to become net-zero by next year – before admitting beef would likely be the last product to achieve ‘carbon neutrality’ due to its environmental impact.

‘Nearly impossible’

However, an expert in agriculture and sustainability told The Independent the move is ‘nearly impossible’ unless Morrisons reduce its meat production – an incentive the retailer is yet to comment on.

Dr. Hannah Ritchie, from the University of Oxford, told the publication: “This will be very difficult. Given the carbon-intensity of meat and dairy, the amount of emissions to offset will still be substantial… It will require a lot of trees.

“A more fundamental issue with this strategy is that more and more companies are pleading to offset their emissions in this way. It’s just not possible that every company does this. 

“Offsetting is no substitution for carbon reduction or elimination. There are only so many trees you can grow…”

Reduce meat production

Dr Ritchie also said Morrisons’ ten-year sustainability plan ‘misses the key point’.

Moreover, she added: “If we’re to meet our global climate targets the research is clear. We need to see substantial reductions in meat and dairy consumption, particularly in the world’s richest countries.”

Plant Based News has contacted Morrisons for comment

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.