A number of the producers have undertaken to deliver directly to their local store, with some food travelling as little as two miles to reach the supermarket’s shelves.
Local products that have found their way into Morrisons’ stores included Artisan Welsh ice cream, Yorkshire Parkin and cheese from Balenavon.
The move to stocking local produce comes off the back of a YouGov survey for Morrisons, which found that 68% of adults in the UK preferred to buy British, up 1% from last year. Of those surveyed, 48% said they expected British food to be fresher.
Rebecca Singleton, Morrisons local solutions director, said: “Customers are telling us they want to buy British and buy food that is made near their communities. They believe it will be fresher and that they will be supporting their local farmers and businesses.
“These 200 food-makers will give many customers a local choice of food or drink and our plan is to find more this year.”
The supermarket plans to host a series of events from Devon to Aberdeenshire where local food makers and suppliers will pitch for their place in their local Morrisons store, starting in April this year.
Morrisons owns 17 manufacturing sites making meat, fruit and veg, fish, bakery and fresh food products and prepares more than half of its fresh food sold in-store. Food manufactured at its sites and stores bears ‘Morrisons Makes It’ branding.
The supermarket chain attracted more than 500 applications to its Nation’s Local Food Makers programme last year, which sought to add more than 200 local suppliers to its supply chain.
Simplifying its supply chain was reaping benefits for the business, the company reported today (14 March) in its preliminary results for the 53 weeks to 4 February.
Meanwhile, last month, Morrisons acquired free-range eggs supplier Chippindale Foods, as it looked to bring forward the date at which all of its eggs come from non-caged hens.