Morrisons to trial seaweed feed to produce lower methane beef

(Photo: Morrisons)
(Photo: Morrisons)

An Australian agri-tech company has partnered with Morrisons to exclusively supply the retailer with a methane abating livestock feed made from seaweed.

Morrisons is collaborating with Sea Forest as part of the supermarket chain's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle.

It is hoped Sea Forest's SeaFeed product could help the retailer fast track the introduction of lower carbon beef products, which could be rolled out by 2026..

The compounds contained in SeaFeed, which occur naturally in a native Australian seaweed, inhibit the bacteria that produce methane in the complex stomachs of cows, sheep and goats.

SeaFeed's trials with beef, dairy and wool producers across Australia and New Zealand have already demonstrated impressive results.

The firm has collaborated with Australian burger chain Grill’d* to introduce a beef burger made from grass-fed black Angus cattle that produces 67% less methane emissions.

Sophie Throup, sustainability director for manufacturing at Morrisons, said: "Once our trial is complete and we have approvals in place, we can develop our lower carbon beef products and help support the drive to lower emissions from cattle.”

CEO of Sea Forest, Sam Elsom, added: “Distributing our methane-busting solution to one of the most respected retailers and food producers in the UK to reduce livestock methane emissions is a tremendous milestone for Sea Forest.

"SeaFeed has the potential to sustainably feed the planet while tackling one of the most challenging pieces of the climate puzzle."

The new partnership supports Morrisons ambition to achieve net zero agriculture emissions from its directly supplied farms by 2030.

It is the latest step in a research programme by Morrisons and Queen’s University Belfast looking at the use of seaweed to help reduce methane production in cattle.