Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

UK: NFU chiefs upset by Morrisons move

PUBLISHED: 08:49 28 November 2012

Jimmy Butler with BPEX Red Tractor at Morrisons

Jimmy Butler with BPEX Red Tractor at Morrisons

submitted

A decision by Morrisons to move from stocking 100pc fresh British poultry meat was “extremely disappointing,” said the National Farmers’ Union.

It comes just days after East Anglian pig farmers praised the retailer for supporting hard-pressed and loss-making producers. A national roadshow, which kicked off at the supermarket’s Riverside store in Norwich before moving to Ipswich Morrisons, saw pig farmers handing out hundreds of free bacon rolls.

Jimmy Butler, who runs 2,000 sows to produce the Blythburgh Free Range Pork, said it was a great opportunity to thank shoppers for staying loyal to Red Tractor pork and bacon. “We wanted to say thanks to our customers for supporting producers of Red Tractor bacon and pork,” he added.

He was joined by volunteers from Ladies in Pigs, including Sophie Hope and Janet Allen, who cooked sausages and bacon to hand out to shoppers.

But the latest move by Morrisons to source cut-price poultry from Europe was described by one leading producer as a “kick in the teeth” for home producers.

“We’ve been encouraged to invest at some extra cost in newer welfare-friendly systems. I’m really surprised because until just a few days ago Morrisons were 100pc supporters of red tractor chicken,” said an East Anglian supplier.

In addition, all producers will be meeting the requirements of the Red Tractor scheme, which will not be required by Morrisons for imported meat, said a NFU spokesman.

Duncan Priestner, who is the NFU’s poultry board chairman, said: “We understand the difficulties retailers are faced with in a competitive market where consumers are demanding a variety of price levels to suit their needs, but unfortunately that comes at the cost of animal welfare standards and British poultry meat.

“British poultry producers have committed and invested in their businesses in order to supply Morrisons so it is extremely disappointing that Morrisons has made this decision.

“It means fresh British chicken will now be displaced by cheaper produce from EU countries that will not have to meet the same welfare standards and it is a blow for the industry.

“Morrisons has always been a keen supporter of British farming and we want this to continue. We hope this is a short-term move that Morrisons will review and reverse at the earliest opportunity,” he added.

Mr Butler thanked Morrisons for supporting the industry by stocking Red Tractor pork and bacon products. While producers have seen feed prices for their pigs soar as a result of droughts around the world, many were losing as much as £12 on every animal,

But an overwhelming majority of consumers have said they would pay a little extra to buy pigs produced in higher-welfare systems. It is the reason that producers have been touring the country to say thanks, said Mr Butler.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

A “sadistic” Essex woman who forced children to fight each other for food and threw them across the room as part of a “game” has been jailed for four years.

Linkin Park singer and Ipswich Town supporter Chester Bennington has died aged 41, Los Angeles County coroner has said.

A paramedic for the East of England Ambulance Service has been suspended for six months on grounds of misconduct for failing to provide the correct care to a patient whose heart had stopped.

A 1,000-signature strong petition could not save the Ipswich free shuttle bus when members of the county council backed plans to withdraw funding for the service from the end of the month.

Members of Suffolk County Council have backed the authority’s decision to formally oppose the closure of nine pedestrian crossings over rail lines in the area.

A north Essex hospice has unveiled plans to build a nursing home in a coastal Essex town – in a move that would make it the first hospice in the country to run such a facility.

Five new Deputy Lieutenants have been appointed for Essex.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24