Morrisons' New Zealand lamb offer criticised by NFU

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called on Morrisons to adhere to its 100% British lamb policy when sourcing all of its own products. 

This comes in response to the retailer announcing a promotion of Australian and New Zealand lamb legs branded as Market Deals – owned by Morrisons.

The NFU said it is concerned about consumer confusion over the product’s country of origin with Morrisons’ high profile commitment to shoppers to source 100% British lamb under the Morrisons own-label brand.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “Morrisons has traditionally been a strong backer of the British livestock industry and much of its messaging to shoppers is centred around being 100% British on all fresh meat.

“We appreciate that Morrisons purchases around 750,000 lambs every year, but in our view it’s a real shame that the retailer is now acting contrary to its commitments to consumers.

“We also have concerns that these imported products are being placed near British messaging at the point of sale, potentially leaving shoppers confused about the origin of the product they are purchasing. We want shoppers to be able to buy British food confidently.

“There is obviously a demand for British lamb so I would urge Morrisons to be clear to customers about what its commitments are.”

In the most recent AHDB Beef & Lamb retailer survey, Morrisons scored 100% in terms of having British lamb facings in November 2016 while a spokesman for the retailer confirmed to Meat Trades Journal that 94% of all fresh lamb sold was British.

He added: “As has always been the case, all year round and in all stores, 100% of Morrisons branded fresh lamb is British.

“As we have in previous years, we will run a handful of non-Morrisons branded promotions between Christmas and Easter when we sell a small amount of non-British lamb.

“This is because a large volume of one cut (the leg) is being sold out of balance to the rest of the carcass. Again, the country of origin is very clearly labelled and the product is sold away from the counter.”

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