A senior director of the supermarket giant, Morrisons, has written to the National Farmers Union (NFU) to voice the company’s commitment to the British farming industry, including a pledge to continue selling 100% British milk and cream, British fresh beef, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs.
The letter, written by the supermarket’s group corporate services director, Martyn Jones, focuses largely on pricing concerns within the dairy sector but also contains a clear commitment by Morrisons to continue selling “100% own brand British fresh pork” as part of its meat business profile.
Addressing his comments directly to NFU president, Meurig Raymond, Mr Jones said he wanted all NFU members to know how “important it is to Morrisons that the UK retains a strong and competitive dairy industry”.
“It is important because we continue to sell 100% British milk and cream, as we always have,” he said. “80% of the cheese we sell is also of British origin, and we believe this is a higher proportion than any other retailer.
“Our commitment to 100% own brand British fresh beef, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs is also well known and leads the UK supermarket sector. We are therefore really concerned about the impact on dairy farmers suffering from recent price cuts and particularly so for those farmers who have invested heavily in their businesses.”
Then, in a statement which put a marker down for the future, firstly for milk, but also potentially for other products when the need arises, he added that “new mechanisms to help the industry cope with this level of price movement must be developed”.
“We fully recognise the increasing level of concern about falling prices as articulated by the NFU, and that is why I can assure you that a mechanism to address fluctuations in the market will be a feature of any new liquid milk contract,” said Mr Jones.