Morrisons has unveiled plans to open a 700-acre research farm in Scotland, as part of its wider drive to contribute to the “long-term stability” of farming in the UK.

The farm, which is being opened in partnership with the Scottish Agricultural College, will rear traditional cattle and sheep breeds, as well as cultivating arable crops for animal feed.

A spokesperson for the company emphasised that the move, which is part of its wider investment in agricultural research, is not a commercial endeavour.

“We aren’t in it to make a profit… We want to help develop the efficiency and sustainability of British farming. Our findings will be published in collaboration with our research partners,” the spokesperson told just-food.

Jim McLaren, president of NFU Scotland, described the initiative as “extremely good news”.

“By Morrisons investing in this way – not least by becoming farmers themselves – the understanding with the farming industry can be developed further. It is these kinds of initiatives that will help forge a sustainable future for our sector.”