Morrisons launches campaign to recruit 200 new United Kingdom food suppliers

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Morrisons launches campaign to recruit 200 new United Kingdom food suppliers

Morrisons supermarket is calling for the United Kingdom to become more self-sufficient when it comes to our food supply - and is putting its money where its mouth is by holding "auditions" for local suppliers.

According to the British Food report, published by experts on global food issues led by Professor Tim Benton from the University of Leeds, only half (52%) of food eaten in the United Kingdom comes from domestic farmers.

Growers interested in becoming a regular supplier of Morrisons will be able to pitch their products through a series of 12 regional events, taking place across England, Scotland and Wales.

Morrisons says climate change and trade wars mean over-reliance on food from overseas is risky and could become even more so.

"The future of the United Kingdom food system that we advocate is a response to the risks and uncertainties of the future".

Andy Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said: "Our customers tell us they want to see more food that is made just down the road from their own communities and that's why we are looking for the next generation of British and local foodmakers to serve our 12 million customers".

United Kingdom retailer Morrisons has announced that it intends to recruit more than 200 local suppliers of fresh produce and processed foods this year, supporting a wider call for greater self-sufficiency in Great Britain.

Benton points out that United Kingdom production of high-value crops shot up between 1997 and 2006 - strawberry output, for example, rose by 125%. But he suggests there is an opportunity to expand in other areas as production of most of the 20 indigenous fruits and vegetables grown here has slid. The report also pointed to periods "where production of cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, parsnips, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, rhubarb and pears grown in the United Kingdom have decreased with French and runner beans down by as much as 49%".

Benton also points out that the potential for self-sufficiency varies with the type of food. For example, more than 80 per cent of the eggs, meat and dairy and 62 per cent of the cereals the United Kingdom consumes are produced locally, while only 23 per cents of consumed fruit and vegetables are grown here.

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