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Yorkshire food and drink suppliers boost Morrisons 21/03/2018


Strong demand for local produce such as Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin and Lottie Shaw’s Yorkshire Parkin has boosted Morrisons as it announced its third consecutive year of improved sales and profits. The Bradford-based firm has brought in over 200 new local suppliers and it has introduced 750 new local products to its stores.

In Yorkshire, its best sellers include award winning Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin based in Bedale, Lottie Shaw’s Yorkshire Parkin made to a 100 year old family recipe and Voakes Free-From Pies, which are made by the wife of a famous Yorkshire pie maker who couldn’t eat the family produce because she is intolerant to gluten. O​ther Yorkshire best sellers include ​Grandma Wild’s Biscuits from Steeton near Keighley, Parrs Foods from Scarborough and Rotherham-based ​Morthen milk​. Sheffield dairy farm ​“​Our Cow Molly​“​ ​is also being sold in three local Morrisons stores. The local businesses ​are being stocked alongside Yorkshire products already in Morrisons, such as Wakefield Rhubarb and Yorkshire ham.

Local sales have risen 50 per cent over the past two years as shoppers up and down the country opt for local producers. Morrisons’ chief executive David Potts said: “We see our Britishness to be in tune with customers.
We can definitely do more. It’s allowing local farmers and growers to know that we are very open minded.” He said that 68 per cent of customers have expressed an interest in buying local. “Two thirds of what we sell is British,” he said. “A good example is milk. A new arrangement with Arla means all our milk is British. All of our Yorkshire stores have got Yorkshire milk.” Mr Potts said the local food initiative is going to get bigger.

Morrisons classes local as being within a 35 mile radius of the store. Following a successful partnership with the Women’s Institute last year, the group will be looking for more local food makers over the next few months. Mr Potts said he’d like to get British food supply above the current 66 per cent. He was speaking as the group announced a 17 per cent leap in bottom line profits to £380m for the year to February 4. On an underlying and comparative 52-week basis, pre-tax profits rose 9.5 per cent to £374m.

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