NatWest and Tesco have announced the launch of a new sustainable finance scheme aimed at assisting farmers in transitioning to eco-friendly farming methods.  

This initiative provides preferential financing rates to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources and fossil fuel-free heating or cooling systems. 

Developed with contributions from farmers, the scheme will initially be available to 1,500 farmers within Tesco’s Sustainable Farming Groups for beef, lamb and dairy.  

Through Lombard, an asset finance provider and part of NatWest, farmers will be able to secure funding solutions that are tailored to their needs.  

Participants are also expected to benefit from access to Tesco’s preferred suppliers and potential volume discounts on renewable energy assets. 

The range of assets covered in the partnership encompasses solar panels, wind turbines, biomass boilers, LED lighting, battery storage, and combined heat and power systems.  

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If the programme is well received, NatWest and Tesco may eventually expand its eligibility to include more of its farmers. 

NatWest Group head of consumer industries Peter Huish said: “At NatWest, we recognise the multiple challenges faced today by farmers, including the cost of transitioning to lower emissions practices. This is why we are excited to be launching Lombard’s partnership with Tesco and its farmers. 

“This initiative further contributes to the UK’s climate goals and food security, as well as to NatWest’s pledge to provide £100bn of climate and sustainable funding and financing by the end of 2025.”  

Tesco Group chief commercial officer Ashwin Prasad said: “The initiative will provide our farmers with the confidence to invest in sustainable farming methods and infrastructure, while also helping us meet our target of reaching net zero across our supply chain by 2050.” 

Earlier this week, NatWest announced that the UK Government has reduced its stake in the bank to below 30%.  

The government has also signalled its intention to fully divest from the bank by 2025 or 2026, marking a step towards the bank’s return to full private ownership.