Morrisons is to allow bull calves from its dairy farmer suppliers into its beef supply chain in an industry first.
Farmers who supply the supermarket for dairy cooperative Arla will also be able to sell bull and beef calves into the calf rearing units of Buitelaar Production, Morrisons’ beef rearing partners.
Belgian and British Blue crossed breeds may go on to form part of the retailer's beef supply chain.
With 30% of beef in the UK imported, working across the supply chain and across both beef and dairy could prove a step in making Britain further self-sufficient in beef.
A spokeswoman for Morrisons said the retailer owns its own abattoirs and end to end meat production.
She said it is an opportunity to connect the supply chains and support dairy farmers more.
Morrisons Agricultural Manager, Sophie Throup said: “Having worked with Buitelaar since 2009 on developing the dairy beef market, we already have a good working relationship to build on through the extended programme for Arla farmers.”
One of the standards in the Arla UK 360 programme requires that no healthy calf be shot or slaughtered before eight weeks of age so.
Graham Wilkinson, Agriculture Director Arla, added: “Arla’s farmer owners see opportunities to evolve farming if we make a supply chain that works for everyone.
“This decision and the support through the supply chain with Buitelaar is the perfect example of how bigger change can be delivered in agriculture if we all work together.”