The commitment to British meat will see the retailer stop selling New Zealand and Australian fresh lamb in stores.
Morrisons said that it sourced most of its meat from its own abattoirs and processing sites, which will be sold under its own-label brand Market Deals.
Morrisons’ meat director Rob Youngson said: “Customers tell us that 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.”
‘Committed to selling British meat’
The National Farmers Union (NFU) welcomed the move by Morrisons to fully support British livestock farmers, singling out sheep processors in particular.
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.”
Livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said Morrisons’ plans were a welcome boost to the UK sheep sector at a time when future trading relationships were uncertain.
“It is vitally important that we see strong support from British retail and consumers,” added Sercombe.
Morrisons’ meat commitment announcement came as the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) released a yearbook of key industry insights on the beef and sheep industry in the past year.
Key industry insights
Industry trends included a fall in imported sheep meat from 92,000t to 89,000t, while beef imports grew slightly from 77,300t to 77,900t.
Lead red meat analyst at AHDB Duncan Wyatt said: “Having an insight into recent market trends ensures the industry is better prepared for what is to come.
“This is even more important with Brexit on the horizon, as levy payer businesses need to ensure they are equipped to deal with the potential impact this may have.”
Meanwhile, Morrisons announced in February that it was seeking at least 200 new British food and drink suppliers, after a report claimed only 52% of food eaten in the UK came from British farmers.