The retailer said it won’t be selling fresh New Zealand and Australian lamb over Easter after listening to customers. In the supermarket’s research, respondents said “supporting British farmers” was one of the issues they cared most about, with 68% of shoppers preferring British produce – citing freshness (48%) and better quality (28%).
Paul Allman, lamb buyer at Morrisons, said: “Our customers want to buy British and support local farmers, so we’re making a clear promise that if you buy fresh lamb at Morrisons this Easter, it will be British. Our great value lamb – complete with its own blue passport – will help more families put a great British roast on their table this Sunday.”
The announcement was praised by the National Farmers Union.
According to the latest AHDB Beef & Lamb shelf watch for January 2018, 81% of lamb facings in retail were British. Aldi, Budgens, Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons all scored 100%. Asda (58%), Lidl (65%), Sainsbury’s (99%), Tesco (75%) and Waitrose (44%) all fell short.
Morrisons said it had been able to offer only British lamb because it “buys direct from British livestock farmers and works closely with them to ensure they have enough lambs available to meet the enormous demand at Easter”.
In 2017, the supermarket sourced 650,000 lambs from 1,150 British farmers. Over Easter, Morrisons is also set to run a £5 per kilo offer on lamb leg joints, as well as offer a variety of fresh cuts such as shoulder joints, lamb guard of honour, fillets, chops and steaks.
To help identify to customers that the produce is British, the retailer has issued blue ‘passports’ to its fresh lamb joints to show where they come from.