NFU Disappointed in Morrisons’ Poultry Meat Decision22 November 2012
UK - A decision by supermarket chain, Morrisons, to move away from stocking 100 per cent British poultry meat is “extremely disappointing” for the industry, the NFU has said.
It is understood that the supermarket chain is importing poultry meat from within Europe and marketing it under Morrisons’ exclusive tertiary brand, Hemseley’s.
Within the last year Morrisons has introduced new standards for its own brand British chicken. As a result, British producers have shown their commitment to those standards by investing in environmental enrichment measures such as perches and windows in poultry houses.
In addition, all producers will be meeting the requirements of the Red Tractor Scheme which will not be required by Morrisons for this imported meat.
The NFU understands that this change has taken place this week.
NFU poultry board chairman Duncan Priestner 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 be 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.”
ThePoultrySite News Desk