Morrisons puts more Yorkshire food on customers' plates

BRADFORD-based Morrisons has today announced the first Yorkshire suppliers to be listed in its stores as part of a programme that aims to put more home-grown food and drink on customers' plates.

Karl Mason with his wife Catherine with Yorkshire's first Gin, at the New Ellington, York Place, Leeds...12th June 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme

The supermarket first announced the search for more local food and drink makers in February, after research found that Yorkshire customers wanted to see more food and drink made and produced from their own communities.

A spokesman for Morrisons said the company has made sourcing local food a priority.

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Some 75 Yorkshire suppliers applied to take part in Morrisons’ local food makers’ programme and the top 20 were then invited to the event at Keighley Town Hall, in West Yorkshire where they met Morrisons’ customers, buyers and the local Women’s Institute.

The first three local food and drink makers have been selected to be listed in stores around Yorkshire.

Masons Gin, from Bedale, North Yorkshire, will enter 133 Morrisons stores from today. Grandma Wild’s Biscuits, from Steeton, near Keighley, will be on sale at all Morrisons’ Yorkshire stores from June 26 and Parrs Foods, from Scarborough, will enter all the supermarket chain’s Yorkshire stores from July 3.

Earlier this month, Sheffield dairy farm Our Cow Molly also entered three local Morrisons stores. The local businesses will be stocked alongside Yorkshire products already ranged in Morrisons such as Wakefield Rhubarb, Bradford parkin and Yorkshire ham.

Danny Clee, local solutions manager for Yorkshire, said: “Morrisons is a Yorkshire business with over 20,000 colleagues in Yorkshire. Our customers tell us they want to see more local food and drink produced in our stores and this programme aims to do just that. At our event in Keighley in March, we saw a great range of Yorkshire products and are delighted to welcome the first of our new local suppliers to our stores this week.”

Morrisons is expected to announce more successful Yorkshire suppliers as part of the programme later this year. Headquartered in Bradford since 1899, Morrisons is one of the UK’s largest food retailers. Around 11 million customers are served in its 491 stores every week. It has more than 9,000 trained butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheesemongers and other in-store specialists.