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Morrisons to stock 100% fresh British lamb
Published:  13 July, 2017

Morrisons has announced that it is to stop selling New Zealand and Australian fresh lamb and will only stock British fresh lamb products. 

The announcement is part of Morrisons’ wider programme to sell more food that is both British and local.

Rob Youngson, meat director at Morrisons, said: “Customers tell us they want more home-grown food and we are listening. We have always been committed to selling British meat and, today, we are taking this a stage further by making a clear pledge that if you buy fresh meat at Morrisons it will be British.”

The retailer said it was able to make this commitment because it had a supply chain where it dealt directly with British farmers. Rather than buying meat from intermediaries, the vast majority of its meat comes from Morrisons’ own abattoirs and processing sites, while its livestock buyers buy cattle, pigs and lamb directly from farmers and will work closely to ensure this commitment is met throughout the year.

The retailer had previously come under fire over placing New Zealand lamb under its ‘Market Deals’ promotion and not labelling it clearly enough.

The announcement was welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said: “We are extremely pleased that Morrisons has shown this level of commitment and chosen to fully back British sheep producers.

“Morrisons has traditionally been a strong supporter of the British livestock industry and much of its messaging to shoppers is centred on stocking 100% British Red Tractor-assured fresh meat. This move will certainly make it easier for shoppers who want to buy British lamb in-store, but have previously been confused by the ‘Market Deals’ labels.”

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe added: “We appreciate that Morrisons purchases a significant number of lambs every year, around 750,000, so this high-profile commitment to source 100% British lamb across all its lines provides a very welcome boost for the UK sheep sector at a time when our future trading relationships are uncertain. It is vitally important that we see strong support from British retail and consumers.”