Levy UK + Ireland, the sports and hospitality division of Compass Group UK and Ireland, is to sponsor a regenerative farming initiative that will enable it to grow its own produce and educate chefs and farmers on sustainable farming practices.

Levy UK+I has partnered with RegenFarmCo, Yorkshire Water and Quorn Professionals on the Biohub at Ings Farm project located near Harrogate.

Specialist regenerative agriculture consultancy RegenFarmCo (CIC) will lead on the design and management of the Biohub at Ings Farm. It will work with Levy UK+I and Compass chefs, culinary teams, and its wider supply chain, to develop sustainable crops and ingredients which will be directly incorporated into future menus.

Quorn Professionals, the foodservice division of the meat-free brand, will also work on the Biohub scheme, alongside landowner Yorkshire Water. The latter will include the project in its Beyond Nature environmental initiative, aimed at its tenant farmers.

The 92-acre Biohub site will also be used as a learning hub; facilitating training for the next generation of farmers and chefs centred around the latest developments in sustainable farming, resource management, and the diversification of food production systems.

Levy UK+I managing director Jon Davies said, “The Biohub at Ings Farm will play an integral role in our sustainable food strategy going forward.

“Through investment in regenerative agriculture, it is our hope that we will be able to foster a closer working relationship between farmers and chefs, who will work in partnership to provide outstanding quality, sustainable produce to visitors at our partner venues. Levy UK+I will continue to implement and advocate for sustainable initiatives to ensure that we remain an agent of change at the forefront of the food industry.”

RegenFarmCo head of farm innovation Dr Vincent Walsh (pictured) said, “Whether addressing the climate crisis, improving our food security or responding to changes in consumer behaviour, the way we manage our land and grow crops needs to change. And while innovations in agritech, and new low carbon methods of cultivation are incredibly important, it’s projects like the Biohub which will help ensure the farm to fork journey becomes genuinely sustainable.

“Having a major culinary business-like Levy UK+I take a leading role in this project, supported by Yorkshire Water, Quorn Professionals and ourselves, also demonstrates how collaboration between food businesses, landowners and farmers can support a more integrated, circular approach to the food supply chain.”

Enabling works have commenced on the Biohub site, and employees from both Levy UK+I and Quorn Professionals will be taking part in a programme of land preparation and tree planting in November.