Sainsbury’s has revealed plans to invest GBP40m (US$62.8m) over the next three years in a number of development schemes to help farmers and suppliers produce more sustainably.

The development groups will cover beef, lamb, pork, eggs, chicken, cheese, grain and produce, both in the UK and internationally.

The schemes are “practical working partnerships” where all parties pool their knowledge about supply chains and “work together to develop the skills and resources suppliers need”, the UK retailer said.

Sainsbury’s said it has already invested GBP21m in the development groups, and has “already made significant progress on sustainability, continuing to drive quality, innovation and efficiency, and raising animal welfare standards”.

“The dedicated Sainsbury’s dairy development group is a successful example of how retailers can help support British farmers and we hope this will be echoed across all sectors to deliver what is needed to ensure a thriving food and farming industry,” said National Farmers Union deputy president Meurig Raymond.