Morrisons has announced it will end its Dumfries House farm project in November.
The retailer claimed Dumfries House, Ayrshire, was becoming a growing visitor attraction and it ’made sense’ to reincorporate its management back to the the estate.
Morrisons has farmed the 405 hectare (1,000 acre) estate since 2009 with the Dumfries House Trust. The project has helped it to implement a number of research and development projects. These included farming efficiency, sustainability and genetics.
Morrisons group corporate services director, Martyn Jones said: “The Dumfries House project was an exceptional opportunity for us to explore and develop farming practices.
"We are pleased with our achievements at the farm including developing our signature beef specification and creating best practice guidance for our suppliers.
Mr Jones added Morrisons would progress its sustainable livestock program with its existing supply base, using knowledge gained from the farm.
A spokesman from Dumfries House Trust Estate said: “We are indebted to Morrisons for the hard work and investment put into developing the farming operation.
"Now that the estate has developed and the project is more stable, this seems the right time to bring the farm back under the direct management of Dumfries House. This coincides with a repositioning and a change in priorities for Morrisons."
The spokesman said although it was the trust’s intention to reduce stock, it will develop the operation to give the estate a ’sustainable future’.
Morrisons denied industry speculation there were also plans to offload its Woodheads abattoir, claiming the supply chain remained an important part of the business.