Sainsbury's Intelligent Agriculture 

by Sainsbury's

Judith Batchelar opened the event Sainsbury’s Agriculture Fringe event explaining the make up of the Sainsbury’s group (Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, Sainsbury’s bank, Argos, Habitat and TU clothing). Its vision is ‘to be the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop.’

An overview of the Sainsbury’s agriculture strategy was accompanied by a timeline showing Sainsbury’s commitment to British agriculture dating back to 1869; key highlights were 1983 when Sainsburys were the first large retailer to bring back a free range egg offering and in 2003 when Sainsbury’s were the first UK retailer to launch MSC. 

Judith explained the importance of data and driving change enabling informed decisions. Using multiple sources of data with analytical expertise has enabled an understanding of what the perfect Sainsbury’s cow would look like. 

Sarah Blanford focused on the importance of working in partnership with the supply chain, a recent example being the Farm Tech scholarship run in partnership with Imperial College to solve on farm challenges with five farmers and growers. 

Another opportunity tackled during the session was waste. Gavin Hodgson explained an example of looking at waste through a different lens. The examples were livestock mortality, livestock feed utilisation and the need for a holistic approach to efficiency, quality and waste. Standardised reporting in waste allows progress to be tracked and improvements measured. 

Going forward Sainsbury’s are looking at breaking down existing barriers to allow greater utilisation of data and technology to unlock insight and drive informed decisions. 

The audience was left considering ‘what could we do if….. ?‘