Morrisons pumps £19M into fresh produce supply

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons is speeding up fresh produce processing and distribution and improving chilling
Morrisons is speeding up fresh produce processing and distribution and improving chilling

Related tags: Fresh produce, Supermarket, Morrisons

Morrisons is investing £19M to speed up the supply of fresh produce and keep it cooler for longer in a bid to keep ahead of competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl.

The supermarket chain has revealed that the investment would be spread across all its stores, its three manufacturing sites and its logistics chain.

The major goal of the move was to ensure fruit and vegetables lasted longer for customers, it said. Not only would this lengthen the amount of time shoppers could keep goods at home, but it would also slash waste, it added.

Speeding up

This would be achieved through means such as speeding up processing and distribution and improved chilling facilities in stores, Morrisons said.

It plans to spend £7M at produce processing sites at Cutler Heights in Bradford, Thrapston and Gadbrook and £12M on chilling facilities in all stores.

“The investment in store will help develop a clear system to identify all products that need to remain chilled,”​ said a spokeswoman for the retailer. “We have always had a lot of refrigeration compared to the discounters but now we’re improving it.

“All stores will now have new chilling facilities to ensure they can get the right produce at the right time of year – and it’s excellent quality.”

Morrisons expects the investment to be implemented by the end of the year.

Produce roadshows

For the first time in 30 years Morrisons recently held produce roadshows for its greengrocers to help staff keep fresh produce in the best condition.

It has also introduced ‘produce quality bins’ at all stores, inviting customers to bin products they believe are not of a high enough quality.

The spokeswoman said Morrisons had also cut prices on 120 produce items, adding pointedly: “Aldi’s whole range is only 100 items.”

For every hour an item of produce is unchilled, it lost eight hours of life in the home, Morrisons claimed.

Related topics: Fresh produce

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