A new partnership promises to reduce the financial burden associated with the transition to sustainable potato production.

The collaboration involves NatWest offering financial support to McCain potato farmers, in recognition of the upfront investment often required to support such changes in approach. In addition, McCain has committed to offering a further contribution towards the interest payable for assets that support regenerative practices.

Supporting farmers

McCain’s James Young says the company wants to support farmers in their transition towards more sustainable operations. “Given the increasingly unpredictable climate, the shift towards regenerative agriculture practices is vital to futureproof the farming industry. We know this can come with financial implications, so our new partnership will be a part of the effort to alleviate those barriers.”

According to NatWest’s Ian Burrow, agriculture’s 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. We’ll continue to stand by farmers and work closely with influential partners, like McCain, to help drive change across the industry.”

James says the company’s partnership with Natwest (specifically finance arm, Lombard) is just one way in which it’s helping to make regenerative agriculture economically viable for UK farmers. Other initiatives include grants for cover crop seed and fully funding soil health assessments, as well as offering free pollinator seed this spring.

Knowledge transfer

To support knowledge transfer, McCain is also testing regenerative agriculture practices and trialing new technology at its Farms of the Future projects, located in Canada and South Africa. This is supported in the UK by three demonstration farms across the country.