Morrisons to increase pig throughput and drop store pork price to back British pig farmers

Morrisons has announced steps to help alleviate the current pressures on pig producers by increasing the volume of pigs it processes and reducing the price of pork in its stores.

The Bradford-based company said it understands the issues farmers are facing and, as a retailer that processes its own meat, it has already changed its sizing requirements in recent weeks to cater for pigs that are growing larger on farms before reaching its meat preparation sites.

It has invested in automating its processing sites and is adopting new processes to enable it to take up to 3,000 more pigs per week. To help speed up the process and, its in-store butchers will now be receiving more bone-in pork joints from its own abattoirs and using their skills to finish the products ready for customers.

It is also cutting the price of seasonal cuts of pork – such as joints, chops, bellies and steaks – to encourage customers to support farmers and buy more pork products. Throughout November, the following special prices will be running across Morrisons Market Street counters:

  • Morrisons British Bone In Pork Loin – £3 per k/g
  • Morrisons British Bone In Pork Loin Chop – £3 per k/g
  • Morrisons British Pork Shoulder Steaks – £2 per k/g
  • Morrisons British Bone In Pork Shoulder – £2 per k/g
  • Morrisons British Bone In Pork Belly – £3 per k/g
  • Morrisons The Best Thick Pork Butcher Counter Sausages (six pack) – £1 per pack
  • Morrisons Thick Pork Sausages (20 pack) – £2 per pack.

In addition to supplying pork to its own stores, throughout November Morrisons’ Woodhead meat sites will also be supporting the wider pig industry by supplying additional pork for sale outside of the retailer. This meat will either be exported outside of the UK or sold domestically to smaller butchers as whole carcasses.

The retailer highlighted how a labour shortage of skilled workers, as well as increased difficulties in exporting, has left the British pork industry with a growing backlog of pork and stressed that it was ‘committed to only selling 100% fresh British meat’.

It said that it continues to invest in butchers in its own preparation sites and in stores – this September, 75 colleagues joined its 18 month butchery apprenticeship programme.

Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture at Morrisons, said: “The British pig industry is struggling at the moment. As a meat producer as well as a retailer we believe we are well placed to help. We will therefore be offering our customers great deals on pork throughout the month, as well as trying to help the whole industry to prepare more meat.”

NPA chairman Rob Mutimer welcomed the move. “The National Pig Association is delighted that Morrisons continues to support the British pig sector with their proactive approach in finding solutions to help alleviate the significant difficulties our farmers still face. Anything retailers can do to promote British pork to their customers is warmly welcomed,” he said.

Seasonal pork recipes from Morrisons chefs can be found on https://my.morrisons.com/porkrecipes

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.