Leading supermarket chain Morrisons has vowed to continue backing British food producers with the launch of a new campaign championing British foodmakers.
‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ campaign will see Morrisons aim to recruit more than 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales over the next 12 months.
The move comes as a new report by leading experts on global food issues led by Prof Tim Benton, from the University of Leeds, revealed that only half (52%) of food eaten in the UK comes from our farmers.
On the back of this, Morrisons is inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets via a series of 12 regional events starting in Yorkshire on 14 March.
Andy Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said: “Our customers tell us they want to see more food that is made just down the road from their own communities and that’s why we are looking for the next generation of British and local foodmakers to serve our 12 million customers.
“We want small UK food suppliers to become bigger ones – the Innocent Smoothies of tomorrow – and we also want to give our customers the option of more food that meets their local food tastes.”
“Morrisons is already British farming’s biggest single customer and the publication of the report from Prof Benton makes us more determined to produce more of our food and source more from local British suppliers.”
The programme will see Morrisons buyers tour Great Britain in search of the best local producers to supply its 491 stores nationwide. The company has a priority of sourcing more local food and is keen to reduce the distance that food travels.
Morrisons will also be working with members of the Women’s Institutes in their communities around the UK, using their local knowledge and expertise to source and select the best suppliers in their area.
The search will result in more customers being able to buy more food in a British supermarket that was grown, made, picked or packaged within 30-60 miles of their local store.