Sainsbury's announces new graduate training and R&D funding for farming and horticulture

Sainsbury's store - image: J Sainsbury
Sainsbury's store - image: J Sainsbury

Sainsbury’s has launched an agricultural and horticultural graduate scheme with the aim of attracting "the brightest young talent" into the industry.

The scheme, developed in partnership with some of the supermarket's suppliers including Vitacress and Chingford Fruit, will take on its first three graduates in September.

The two-year training programme will comprise four six-month placements working with a range of Sainsbury’s fresh food suppliers.

Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury's Brand said: "It's important to attract and train young talent to drive technical development in a sustainable way and build on Sainsbury's heritage in food technology and product development."

The retailer has also pledged a second round of funding to promote innovation and efficiency in farming and growing. This follows an initial £1.2 million R&D fund awarded in December 2012 to 14 projects which included innovations to extend the British strawberry season and to reduce glasshouse salad growers' reliance on natural gas.

Universities and science minister David Willetts said: "To ensure our agricultural industry remains at the forefront of innovation, we need to back new technologies and drive up skills. These initiatives from Sainsbury’s will support these ambitions and complement our new agri-tech strategy."


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