Morrisons has today (Thursday, June 27) announced a partnership with Sea Forest to introduce seaweed-based livestock feed to fast track lower carbon beef products.

Sea Forest will work with Morrisons’ manufacturing arm, Myton Food Group, exclusively to supply SeaFeedTM – its methane abating livestock feed.

The retailer said this will to help fast track the introduction of lower carbon beef products such as mince, burgers, steaks and joints in Morrisons. 

Approval for the process is being worked through and if it is successful, customers should see products on the shelf in Morrisons by 2026.

Sea Forest has previously 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.

When the SeaFeedTM product is included as a small fraction of the animals’ diet (approximately 0.5%), it reduces methane production without impacting the taste or quality of beef.

Technical and sustainability director at Myton Food Group for Morrisons, Sophie Throup, said: “As British farming’s biggest direct customer, we are well placed to support the farmers we work with and help them farm more sustainably.  This partnership  supports our ambition to have net zero agriculture emissions by 2030. 

“Having our own livestock experts with direct relationships with farmers enables us to make changes quickly, meaning that 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.” 

‘Methane-busting solution’

Chief executive of Sea Forest, Sam Elsom, said: “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.

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

“Our trials with beef, dairy and wool producers across Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated excellent results and we are delighted to partner with Morrisons to make a meaningful impact on climate change at an international scale.”

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

Director of research at Queen’s University Belfast’s school of biological sciences and Institute for Global Food Security (IGF), Prof Sharon Huws, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Morrisons and Sea Forest to provide the scientific evidence underpinning the journey towards net zero in the Morrisons beef chain.

“Innovation is at the centre of the IGFS ethos, and this collaboration is an important example of how our research translates into impact for the sector,  and indeed for the health of our planet”.